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Citizens’ forum demands release of photographer Shahidul Alam

  • Published at 11:30 pm September 2nd, 2018
File photo: Police escort Drik Gallery founder and celebrated photographer Shahidul Alam out of Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court after he was remanded in an ICT case on Monday, August 6, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

Participants under the platform Najya Bicharer Dabite Manush (people seeking justice) formed the human chain in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka

Speakers addressing a human chain on Sunday demanded the immediate release of photographer Shahidul Alam.

They alleged that Shahidul was singled outand arrested because of critiquing the government over the road safety movement.He is currently incarcerated in a case filed under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act.

Participants under the platform Najya Bicharer Dabite Manush (people seeking justice) formed the human chain in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka. 

Nasir Uddin Ahmed, professor of English at Jagannath University, said Shahidul did not make any seditious comments regarding the last month’s agitation demanding discipline on the streets.

“He [Shahidul] voiced support for the public demand of road safety, which eventually turned out to be a social movement,” Nasir said, adding, Shahidul making a different opinion does not make himan anti-national. 

Water resources expert Inamul Haque in his speechasked why the prime minister did not take any legal action against the persons responsible for attacking students during the movement.

Energy expert BD Rahmatullah said the youth of the countrydemonstrateda mannerto bring discipline on the roads -- a development that frightened the government.

Questioning the role of political parties over the quota reformation movement he added why no political parties spoke on the quota issue.

He added the police turned a blind eye when miscreants attacked road safety movement protesters.

Nurul Haque Nur, joint convener of Bangladesh Sadharan Chhatra Adhikar Sangrakkhan Parishad, said most of the intellectuals of the country remained silent during the quota reform as well as the road safety movement.

Earlier, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, PEN International(worldwide association of writers), several photography associations and press bodies, including Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists, extended their support to Shahidul.

Police detained Shahidul on the night of August 5 and he was on remand for a week on charges of spreading propaganda and false information against the government.

He was accused of using electronic media to instigate disorder and spread fabricated information and rumours via social media.