'We urge the relevant authorities to immediately release Mr Alam and to take effective measures to have all allegations of torture investigated promptly, effectively and impartially'
UN human rights experts have urged Bangladeshi authorities to immediately release photographer Shahidul Alam.
“The arrest and alleged ill-treatment of Alam is extremely worrying and takes place in a general context of a crackdown against young students and others calling for better public governance, reforms and justice in Bangladesh, including media workers and other civil society,” said the experts in a statement, reports UNB.
“We urge the relevant authorities to immediately release Mr Alam and to take effective measures to have all allegations of torture investigated promptly, effectively and impartially. We also urge them to ensure a safe and enabling environment for media workers,” they said.
The experts are: Michel Forst, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; David Kaye, special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; and Seong-Phil Hong, chair-rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
The special rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council.
Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.
Police have charged Shahidul with using electronic media to instigate disorder in the country and spread fabricated information and rumours via social media.
He was detained from his home on August 5.
On August 4 and 5, the photographer had gone live on Facebook several times to discuss clashes in the city's Jigatola area between students demonstrating for safer roads, and police and alleged activists of ruling party affiliate organizations.