British artists demand Bangladeshi Photographer Shahidul Alam's release
12:00 AM, September 04, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:57 AM, September 04, 2018

HC defers Shahidul Alam's bail hearing

British artists voice support for his release

The High Court yesterday deferred till today the hearing on the bail petition of internationally-acclaimed photographer Shahidul Alam in connection with a case filed against him under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act.

Yesterday, on the scheduled date of the bail petition hearing, the bench of Justice Md Ruhul Quddus and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman deferred the date following a time prayer moved by Attorney General Mahbubey Alam.

The attorney general sought time from the bench for preparation of arguments to be placed before the court on the bail petition.

Barrister Sara Hossain represented Shahidul.   

Shahidul Alam's counsels, barristers Sara Hossain and Jyotirmoy Barua, filed the bail petition with the HC on August 28, saying that he may be granted bail as he is physically ill, and that he will face trial proceedings and will not leave the country if granted bail in the case.

The eminent photographer was sent behind bars on charges of “spreading propaganda and false information against the government”.

Shahidul, 63, was picked up by law enforcers on the night of August 5 from his home in the capital's Dhanmondi area.

The following day, he was placed on a seven-day remand after police produced him before a court seeking 10 days' remand. He told the court that he was tortured in custody. Police, however, denied the allegation.

Upon completion of his remand, he was sent to jail on August 13.

BRITISH ARTISTS JOIN CALL FOR SHAHIDUL ALAM'S RELEASE

Meanwhile, a number of leading British artists and curators have voiced their support for the detained photographer and called for his release, according to a report by British newspaper The Guardian

It says 47 individuals from Britain's art community -- including filmmaker Steve Mcqueen (whose film '12 Years A Slave' won the Oscar for best picture in 2014), dancer-choreographer Akram Khan, sculptors Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor -- signed an open letter seeking his release written by Alam's niece Sofia Karim, an architect living in Britain.

Other signatories of the letter include noted curators such as the Tate's Frances Morris, director of London's National Portrait Gallery Nicholas Cullinan, director of Gateshead's Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art Sarah Munro and Sophie Wright of Magnum Photos.

“I always felt that artists would sign the letter, but it's been very heartening that leaders of our largest cultural institutions have also publicly supported my uncle so warmly, simply from our personal appeals,” Sofia Karim was quoted as saying in the Guardian report.

 

READ MORE: Justice for Shahidul

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