The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders called on Bangladesh government to promptly release photographer Shahidul Alam, who was arrested and ‘beaten’ by police on Sunday.
‘Shahidul’s arrest appears to be completely unwarranted,’ said Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer.
‘Instead of silencing critics, Bangladeshi authorities need to make sure that citizens are allowed to protest peacefully and journalists are able to do their jobs without fear of imprisonment.’
Shahidul Alam, 63, is an award-winning photographer, writer and activist whose photographs have been published in major media outlets throughout the world.
He is also the founder of the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka, which has trained hundreds of photographers.
Plainclothes police officers entered Alam’s Dhanmndi home and bundled him into a waiting van just hours after his interview criticizing the government for its harsh crackdown on peaceful protest was broadcast by Al-Jazeera.
School children’s protests were sparked after a speeding bus killed two teenage students on July 29.
Since then, school children held demonstrators demanding government action on road safety.
Police charged Shahidul Alam on Monday with
violating Bangladesh’s Information and Communication Technology Act which outlaws any electronic communication that ‘tends to deprave or corrupt’ the image of the state.
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