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Feminist Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin in government safe house following violent protests by Muslim extremists

(WiPC/IFEX) - International PEN's Writers in Committee is seriously concerned for the safety of Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin, who is in a government safe house following violent protests by Muslim extremists in Kolkata, West Bengal. PEN welcomes the efforts by the Indian authorities to provide her protection, and urges the Indian authorities to ensure her safe passage and return to her home in Kolkata, West Bengal, at the earliest opportunity.

Controversial Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasrin is currently in a government safe house in Delhi after violent protests broke out by Muslim extremists in Kolkata, West Bengal, on 21 November 2007, where Ms Nasrin is now living in exile. Ms Nasrin had flown from Calcutta to the western Indian city of Jaipur on 22 November, but she has now been transported to the Indian capital, Delhi, for her safety. According to reports, police in Kolkata used tear gas and baton charges to control crowds calling for her Indian visa to be cancelled. Rioters blocked roads and set cars alight, and at least 43 people were hurt. More than 100 arrests were made. The protests are believed to have been organised by the predominantly Muslim All-India Minority Forum, who say that Taslima Nasrin has "seriously hurt Muslim sentiments" in her writings and are calling for her Indian visa to be revoked. In August, she was attacked in the southern city of Hyderabad during a lecture by Muslims upset by her remarks on the Prophet Muhammed and the Koran.

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