In an instance of self-censorship, Express Tribune the local publisher of The New York times in Pakistan chose to remove an article which was printed in the international edition.
The International New York Times was instead distributed with blank spaces on the first two of its pages.
A subsequent tweet by journalist Salman Masood revealed that the blank space replaced an article titled, âThe Imperiled Bloggers of Bangladeshâ written by Joshua Hammer, a freelance correspondent.
This is what the Asia edition of New York Times actually looks like today, without the censor in Pakistan pic.twitter.com/SqFRejdu2sâ Salman Masood (@salmanmasood) January 2, 2016
The article discusses how Asif Mohiuddin one of the atheist bloggers of Bangladesh had to flee his country due to the gradual rise of Islamist extremism and violence against rationalists in the country.
Mohiuddin narrowly escaped death when he was stabbed multiple times with a kitchen knife at his native two years ago.
It also states how Mohiuddinâs four other blogger friends were murdered in subsequent incidents for questioning fundamentalist Islamist thinking following a âhit listâ featuring their names being circulated on social media.
In one of the recent incidents, Faisal Arefin Dipan was hacked to death in last October by unidentified assailants for his secular leanings.
Three others bloggers were also injured in the same time in a separate attack.
In 2015, alone it was reported that four bloggers were killed due to their âanti-Islamicâ writing.
In December 2015, a similar incident was reported when The International New York Times was censored more than three times in less than a month in Thailand.