South Asians demand the release of Shahidul Alam

Published On: November 13, 2018 03:11 PM NPT

KATHMANDU, Nov 13: Former Chief Justice of Nepal, Sushila Karki is one of the 34 eminent South Asians who has demanded the release of photographer and cultural activist Shahidul Alam.

The 34 eminent South Asians have written a letter to Bangladesh's Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina Wazed demanding the release of Shahidul Alam.

Alam was forcefully taken from his home on August  5 and has been held at Dhaka Central Jail for the last 100 days. He is accused of ‘hurting the image of the nation’ while reporting on protests by young students demanding road safety. He has been denied bail five times.

The letter states: “As well-wishers of Bangladesh and supporters of its 166 million citizens’ struggle for dignity, social justice and prosperity, we are distressed by the continued imprisonment of photographer and cultural activist ShahidulAlam.”

The letter notes: “Shahidul Alam is a Bangladeshi citizen, but the rest of us in South Asia are also proud to call him our own, for the values of truth, justice and social equality he promotes."

The signatories state further: “It is clear to us that the case of ShahidulAlam is being used as a means to suppress criticism by others in civil society. His arrest and continued detention appear to be manifestation of an intolerant political atmosphere, an attempt to threaten and silence the voice of Bangladeshi citizens."

Arundhati  Roy, Aparna Sen, Vikram Seth, Romila Thapar, Amitav Ghosh, Shabhana Azmi, Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Nandita Das, Mohammad Hanif, Anish Kapoor among other eminent persons from across South Asia have come together to write a letter to Bangladeshi Prime Minister demanding the immediate release Alam.

Other distinguished persons who have joined this appeal include singer/songwriter Moushumi Bhowmik (Kolkata), political scientist Jayadeva Uyangoda (Colombo), poet/critic Sankha Ghosh (Kolkata), historian/writer Ramchandra Guha (Bangalore), photographer Raghu Rai (Delhi) and artist Salima Hashmi (Lahore).

List of signatories:

  1. Akram Khan, London
  2. Amar Kanwar, New Delhi
  3. Amitav Ghosh, Goa
  4. Anish Kapoor, London
  5. Aparna Sen, Kolkata
  6. Arundhati Roy, New Delhi
  7. Ashok Vajpeyi, New Delhi
  8. Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Kolkata
  9. Dayanita Singh, New Delhi
  10. Ina Puri, Kolkata
  11. Jayadeva Uyangoda, Colombo
  12. Kanak Mani Dixit, Kathmandu
  13. Laila Tyabji, New Delhi
  14. Manjushree Thapa, Toronto
  15. Mohammed Hanif, Karachi
  16. Moushumi Bhowmik, Kolkata
  17. Nandita Das, Kolkata
  18. Nimalka Fernando, Colombo
  19. Patricia Mukhim, Shillong
  20. PoojaSood, New Delhi
  21. Rachana Singh, New Delhi
  22. Raghu Rai, New Delhi
  23. Rajdeep Sardesai, New Delhi
  24. Ramchandra Guha, Bangalore
  25. Romilla Thapar, New Delhi 
  26. Salima Hashmi, Lahore
  27. Sanjay Kak, New Delhi
  28. Sanjoy Hazarika, Shillong
  29. Sankha Ghosh, Kolkata
  30. Shabana Azmi, Mumbai
  31. Sushila Karki, Kathmandu
  32. Vijay Prashad, New Delhi
  33. Vikram Seth, New Delhi
  34. Vrinda Grover, New Delhi





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