Release Shahidul immediately
Amnesty International, as well as a number of other organisations, condemned the detention of noted photographer Shahidul Alam and demanded his immediate release.
“There is no justification whatsoever for detaining anyone for solely peacefully expressing their views. His arrest marks a dangerous escalation of a crackdown by the government that has seen the police and vigilantes unleash violence against student protestors,” Omar Waraich, Amnesty International's deputy South Asia director, said in a statement yesterday.
Meanwhile, in a statement by Salil Tripathi, the chair of PEN International's Writers in Prison Committee, the association said, “The Bangladeshi authorities must release Shahidul Alam immediately, institute an inquiry into why the officials responsible for action destroyed property and threatened others, establish new norms for security forces to act proportionately and with due regard to the law and within the limits placed by the law.”
It added that he was being punished for exercising his legitimate rights. In the meanwhile, the association called on the Bangladeshi authorities to ensure Shahidul's wellbeing and that he was not subjected to ill-treatment while in detention.
Elsewhere, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) also condemned the attack on Shahidul and demanded his immediate unconditional release.
“Such acts of arrest and violence are against the press freedom and hinder independent journalism. The IFJ demands immediate release of photojournalist Alam, and security measures to protect journalists and photojournalists from miscreants,” it said.
Additionally, South Asian Women in the Media also said the recent illegal and inexplicable detention of Dr Shahidul Alam, apparently over a Facebook post, indicated a growing trend by government machinery to silence the media and any dissenting voices.
Noted photographer Shahidul Alam was placed yesterday on a seven-day remand in a case filed under section 57 of ICT Act on charges of spreading propaganda and false information against the government.
Shahidul, 63, was picked up by plainclothes men on Sunday night from his Dhanmondi flat.