400 artists sign petition to release Bangladeshi photographer
August 9, 2018 12:30 PM NPT
Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam is dragged by plainclothes police at the Metropolitan Magistrate's court in Dhaka | Photo: Reuters
CARACAS, Aug 9: A total of 400 filmmakers, photographers and artists have signed a letter petitioning the Bangladeshi government to release photographer Shahidul Alam. Alam was apprehended by the government in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on the fifth of August, after the airing of a segment by Al-Jazeera.
In the Al-Jazeera segment, Alam spoke about student-led protests to oppose dangerous road conditions, sparked after two students were killed in a traffic accident and government inaction to address the issue of road incidents. The photographer also talked about broader governmental issues, such as "looting of the banks, the gagging of the media, the extrajudicial killings, disappearings, bribery, and corruption.”
Alam is the founder of the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, a photography and multimedia journalism school, and has been an activist and a photojournalist who has actively documented and covered protests over the years.
He was charged under the 57 section of the international communications and technology act, for spreading propaganda against the government, and he will remain in prison for 7 days amid the ongoing investigation into his comments.
"Shahidul Alam did what any citizen with a conscience would have done. And we stand resolutely by him. He has used his voice and his lens as an instrument that intervenes with precision and compassion in a situation that requires urgent attention," read the petition signed by over 400 artists.