Bangladesh documentary on blogger murders wins The Bobs award

A Bengali documentary on serial attacks on bloggers and online activists has won The Bobs (Best of Online Activism) jury award of Germany’s international broadcaster, Deutsche Welle.

Published : 6 May 2016, 11:37 AM
Updated : 6 May 2016, 11:37 AM

‘Razor's Edge’ won the award 2016 in the Citizen Journalism category, Deutsche Welle said in a media release.

According to it, the film examines the life-threatening situation secular bloggers and writers face in Bangladesh and the government's unwillingness to confront the spree of murders committed by religious extremists.

A blogger and his wife have made the documentary under the pseudonym ‘Nastiker Dharmakatha or Religious Statement of an Atheist’.

The jury of the competition announced the names of the winners at a press conference at Berlin on Monday.

Three other jury award winners are ‘Stop Acid Attacks’ from India (Social Change category), ‘Gershad’, an app from Iran (Tech for Good category), and ‘Center for Political Beauty’ from Germany (Arts and Culture category).

The release said all of the projects aimed to support oppressed people around the world.

Bangladeshi photographer GMB Akash’s instagram account won ‘user award’ in Arts and Culture category by votes of internet users while clinched the award in Bengali Language category.

The awards will be handed over to the winners at Global Media Forum at German’s Bonn in June this year.

Following the announcement of the names of the winners, Razor’s Edge director told Deutsche Welle that the film was not only a documentary to them; rather it was a medium of activism.

“Through this, we’ve tried to focus on the spree of murders of free-minded people, atheists, secular writers, bloggers and publishers,” he said.

Rafida Ahmed Bonya, who survived a 2015 attack that resulted in the death of her husband Avijit Roy, was a Bengali jury member.

She told Deutsche Welle, "When in a country the government actually encourages the culture of impunity, then it becomes a responsibility of the citizen to stand up and demand justice, and that is exactly what this documentary has done."

"It has shown very skillfully how the government is encouraging this culture of impunity," she added.

Bonya said, "It is a wonderful example of how to raise awareness about the situation so that we can actually protect the rights of a pretty big community in Bangladesh."

Mukto-Mona (Free Mind) blogs operated by Avijt and Bonya had won The Bobs award last year.