Sixty-nine eminent citizens including academics, lawyers and rights and socio-political activists protested against arrests of internationally acclaimed photographer and activist Shahidul Alam and students over the recent road safety movement following the death of two students in the capital’s Kurmilota on July 29.
In a statement sent to media on Wednesday, they said, ‘Freedoms of expression, association and assembly are being unlawfully and arbitrarily suppressed.’
It says in the late night of Sunday 5 August 2018, internationally and nationally renowned photographer, academic and human rights activist, Shahidul Alam was ‘unlawfully abducted’ from his home, allegedly by law enforcement personnel, and without an arrest warrant.
He was remanded for a week in a case filed under Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act.
‘We the undersigned strongly condemn such repression by the government, including arbitrary police remand under the repressive ICT Act against him,’ said the statement.
The statement demands that ‘the government to investigate allegations of unlawful arrest and torture and immediately and unconditionally facilitate Shahidul Alam’s release and punish those responsible for his alleged abduction and torture’.
It also said ‘We also demand that the government stops repression of students, academics, journalists and human rights activists immediately, release all who have been arbitrarily detained and take every step to ensure road safety, freedom of speech, freedom of movement and freedom of association for all, without discrimination’.
The statement was sent mentioning the names of human rights defenders Hameeda Hossain and Nur Khan, physician and health rights activist Zafrullah Chowdhury, Dhaka University professor Chowdhury Abrar, Transparency International Bangladesh executive director Iftekhar Zaman, Sujan secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar, journalist writer, researcher and environmentalist Mahfuz Ullah, BRAC University’s Centre For Peace And Justice executive director Manzoor Hasan, pediatrician Naila Z Khan, Shadhona’s artistic director Lubna Marium, Illinois State University teacher Ali Riaz, and teachers of Dhaka University Amena Mohsin, Jahangirnagar University Anu Muhammad and UAS’s Grand Valley State University teacher Azfar Hussain, among others.
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