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High Court: Conduct additional medical examination of Shahidul Alam

  • Published at 06:18 pm August 9th, 2018
File photo of the Supreme Court Dhaka Tribune

The court also asks the home secretary to submit a health report within Monday

The High Court on Thursday asked the government to conduct additional medical examination of celebrated photographer Shahidul Alam, now on a seven-day remand, following Section 2(6) of the Torture and Custodial Death (Prevention) Act, 2013, reports UNB.

The bench of Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir issued the order after receiving a general report on his physical health and asked that he be investigated for evidence of torture.

Section 2(6) of that act stipulates - "Torture means any physical or psychological torture that hurts, in addition to following acts a) Extorting any information or confession from the person or any other person; b) Punishing any suspected person or any offender; c) Intimidating any person or any other person through him; d) Any work done on a discriminatory basis, in each case, act done with someone's provocation, with someone's consent or by dint of the power of any government officer or government power."

The court also asked the secretary for home affairs to submit a health report about Shahidul Alam within Monday to the relevant trial court.

Also Read- SC adjourns plea hearing until Monday against HC order sending Shahidul to BSMMU

Shahidul’s counsel Barrister Sara Hossain said the report from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital on the medical check-up of the photographer mentioned that his physical condition was sound.

"But nothing is mentioned about his mental health," she said.

Sara also said the trial court’s order to place Shahidul on remand was not in line with the guidelines of the High Court.

The High Court on Tuesday had asked the authorities concerned to send Drik Gallery Managing Director Shahidul to BSMMU Hospital for examination and treatment.

Photographer Shahidul Alam getting out of a vehicle with help from police officials while being taken to the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court for a remand hearing on August 6, 2018 | Dhaka Tribune

It also asked the relevant authorities to form a medical board to examine his health and submit a report on his health condition on Thursday.

In compliance with the order, the BSMMU authorities placed a general report before the court Thursday, but did not specifically address whether the photographer had been subjected to physical and/or mental torture.

Shahidul, also the chairman of Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, was detained from his Dhanmondi residence last Sunday night following his Facebook posts and an interview with Al Jazeera on the student movement demanding safer roads.

On Monday, he was shown arrested in a case filed under Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act for spreading propaganda and false information through social and electronic media.

Later that day, a Dhaka court had placed Shahidul into a seven-day police remand in the case.