National Geographic has expressed deep concern over the health and wellbeing of detained renowned photographer Shahidul Alam demanded his immediate release.
Internationally acclaimed National Geographic, which contains articles about science, geography, history and world culture, in a statement on August 16 raise the concern over the arrest of Shahidul in connection with recent student protests for road safety.
Shahidul Alam, 63, was detained by plainclothes police from his home on August 5 after giving an interview to Al Jazeera about the student protests, which he documented and discussed in Facebook Live.
A Dhaka metropolitan magistrate’s court on August 12 sent Shahidul Alam to jail after he was produced before the court following interrogation in custody for seven days.
‘National Geographic is deeply concerned about the health and wellbeing of renowned photographer, educator and humanitarian Shahidul Alam,’ said the statement.
‘A bright light in the photographic community, Mr Alam is currently being detained in his native Bangladesh. We join together with others across the world who are troubled by Mr Alam’s arrest and support his immediate and safe release,’ read the statement.
Shahidul’s arrest has drawn wide condemnation from local and international rights groups, professionals and intellectuals, including American writer and philosopher Noam Chomsky, Indian writer Arundhati Roy, Canadian author Naomi Klein and Indian intellectual Vijay Prashad and several hundred nationally and internationally acclaimed citizens and rights activists alongside three UN human right experts.
Shahidul is a recipient of multiple awards, including Shilpakala Padak in 2014, and the Lucie Foundation announced in 2018 that he would be receiving the distinguished Humanitarian Award 2018.
Shahidul is a photographer, academic, human rights activist, and founder of Drik Picture Library and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute that has trained hundreds of photographers.
The Chobi Mela photo festival, which he started in 1999, brings photographers from around the world to Dhaka.