Arundhati, Chomsky among demand release of Shahidul Alam

Arundhati, Chomsky among demand release of Shahidul Alam

Dhaka, Aug 10 (Just News): Four internationally celebrated authors, intellectuals on Friday demanded immediate release of acclaimed photographer, who was arrested this week by detective branch of police.

In a joint statement, Indian writer Arundhati Roy, Canadian author Naomi Klein, American writer, philosopher Noam Chomsky and Indian intellectual Vijay Prashad said, ‘documentation and criticism are elementary aspects of human life. For a state to deny a citizen the right to say what is happening and to be angered about what is happening is a denial of this basic right.’

‘Reports come that Shahidul Alam has been tortured in prison. Reports also come of widespread dismay at the detention of this widely loved photographer and teacher,’ the statement noted.

‘He is, in fact, the recipient of a high honour from the government of Bangladesh – the Shilpakala Padak in 2014. Shahidul Alam was handed this award by the current president of Bangladesh, Abdul Hamid.

‘The government of Bangladesh, which gave Shahidul Alam this high award, must immediately release him, drop all charges and negotiate in good faith with the students,’ it reads.

‘Anything less than that stands as a rebuke to justice and liberty, decency and hope for a better future.’

A group of 30 to 35 men in plain clothes took Shahidul away from his house late on Sunday hours after Qatar-based Al Jazeera television channel broadcast an interview of him.

He was later shown arrested by detective branch of police, who charged him for spreading ‘imaginary propaganda against the government’ on his Facebook page that ‘triggered panic among public and caused deterioration of law and order.’