New Delhi: Bangladeshi blogger Ananta Bijoy Das, who was hacked to death by Islamists in Sylhet could have been saved, had the Swedish Embassy in Dhaka granted him visa to visit Sweden.
The Swedish chapter of PEN, an international writers group, on Wednesday alleged that Das was invited to visit Stockholm this month to celebrate World Press Freedom Day, but was denied visa by the embassy citing risk of "asylum".
According to PEn, the Swedish embassy, in an e-mail rejecting Das's request, cited concerns that he might try to stay in Sweden, or any of the European Union countries known as the Schengen area.
"You belong to a category of applicants where there is always a risk involved when granting a visa that you will not leave Schengen area after the visit", the Swedish embassy wrote. "Furthermore, the purpose of your trip is not urgent enough to grant you visa."
Swedish Migration Agency confirmed to BBC News that it had rejected Das' request for a visa.
Surprisingly, after the blogger was hacked to death by four Islamists, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted: "We are horrified by the murder of Ananta Bijoy Das and other bloggers in Bangladesh. Freedom of speech must be protected."
Svenska PEN, the Swedish chapter of the writers' group, had demanded a response from the Swedish Embassy in Dhaka for its decision not to issue a visa.
Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent in a statement has claimed responsibility for the murder of blogger Das, saying :"Alhadulillah! Mujahids of Bangldesh have murdered another Islam hater atheist who has been insulting Allah and his Rasool."
Protests were taken out in Bangladesh on Wednesday to condemn the gruesome attacks on secular bloggers.