Citizens stage demo for Shahidul Alam’s release

Citizens stage demo for Shahidul Alam’s release

Dhaka, Aug 11 (Just News): Citizens today called for immediate release of noted photographer Shahidul Alam and other students who were arrested during the nationwide movement for safe roads.

Several hundred people under the banner of writers-artists-teachers-students and cultural activists joined a protest rally in front the National Museum at Shahbagh in Dhaka this afternoon.

Speakers at the programme said that the way renowned photographer Shahidul Alam was detained and “tortured” proves that the government cannot tolerate dissent or is afraid of criticism.

“Had the government been sensible enough, it could have taken many lessons from the students’ movement for safe roads to bring reformation in the traffic management system; rather it (government) opted for suppression. It proves that the government cannot tolerate dissenting voice and criticism,” said Prof Anu Muhammad.

Shahidul was picked up by law enforcers from his house in Dhanmondi on August 5, hours after he posted a video on Facebook and participated in an interview with Al Jazeera about the road safety protests in Dhaka, where more than 40 journalists and media workers were injured by groups of armed men.

On August 6, a Dhaka court placed Shahidul on remand in a case filed under the controversial Section 57 of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Act on charges of “spreading propaganda and false information against the government”.

Shahidul told the court that he was tortured in custody. Police, however, refuted the allegation.

In response to a writ petition filed by his wife Prof Rahnuma Ahmed on Tuesday, the High Court directed the authorities to immediately send him to the BSMMU and arrange his medical examination and submit a report by 10:30am on August 9.

Twenty-four national and international organisations so far demanded for immediate and unconditional release of Shahidul as the call to free the eminent photographer gets louder.