Jahid Hassan, who is known as Tahsib Hasan, is a blogger, activist and publisher from Bangladesh. An active part of the Bangladesh Science and Rationalist Association (BSRA), he has been writing for the largest Bangla-language blog somewhereinblog, and has worked as a Chief News Editor and publisher at the online Bangla news portal www.rajnitiprotidin.com, now closed down due to threats from the government.
Hassan was the chairman of the Book-Maker publishing house in Dhaka, which has been publishing books on fundamentalism, secularism, and two books focusing on the Jamaat-e-Islami political party and its association with war crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
In his writings, Jahid Hassan has advocated for equal rights for women, against religious fanaticism, questioned the existence of God, and advocated in favour of the Shahbag movement. One of the books published by Book-Maker, Razakars, received a great deal of attention during the Shahbag protests in 2013, becoming popular among activists.
Jahid Hassan fled the country in fear for his life in 2015, when many of his colleagues and friends were threatened or violently killed by Islamic extremists. In 2015 alone, five bloggers and publishers were attacked and killed, among them Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman Babu, Ananta Bijoy Dash, and Niloy Neel. Niloy Neel was entrepreneur of BSThese brutal killings have made headlines in world media, but many others have been assaulted and yet others are living under constant threat to their lives. Assassination lists of secular bloggers are circulating on the web, those who are still alive are meant to be intimidated by these killings, and thereby to be silenced.
Jahid intends to continue his work in Norway and has many plans already for the ICORN residency. He says:
I would like to revive the Bangladesh Science and Rationalist Association (BSRA) in Europe. There are members of BSRA in Germany, Sweden and Norway, who migrated from Bangladesh, that will be in the network. Norway could be the center for coordination, for communication with each other and online contacts with members in Bangladesh. In the future, the scientific knowledge will be promoted in Bangladesh. I would also like to facilitate capacity building and training of online writers, bloggers and journalists. The Bengali young people who are active in the blogosphere should be provided with writing skills and analytical skills. An online training course will be designed and conducted.
I also plan to publish a book and an online newspaper, to make research reports on secular culture and science education. And who knows, perhaps go into farming
Since they became a member of ICORN in 2011, the City of Bø in Norway has welcomed three writers.