The family and a colleague of detained acclaimed photographer Shahidul Alam have urged the government, specifically the jail authorities, to ensure his urgent medical treatment transferring him to a hospital outside the prison.
Shahidul’s wife Rahnuma Ahmed and his colleague Saydia Gulrukh, in a joint statement after meeting him at Dhaka Central Jail at Keraniganj on the Eid day, August 22, said that Shahidul informed them that he was suffering from breathing difficulties, pain in the jaw and gums and was facing eyesight problems.
They said that Shahidul had no such complications before he was taken in police custody on August 5, 2018.
The jail authorities, however, said on Thursday that they had no plan to shift him to any hospital right now.
‘We appeal to the government, specifically the Jail Authorities, to ensure immediate medical attention for Shahidul Alam transferring him to a hospital,’ the statement said.
Saydia Gulrukh told New Age that Shahidul Alam’s lawyer Sara Hossain in a emailed letter to the superintendent of the Jail on August 22, informed the jail authorities about his health problems in which she also requested the authorities to take immediate steps to ensure his treatment transferring him to a hospital.
In another letter to the superintendent of the jail on Friday Sara Hossain also requested an urgent medical attention for Shahidul Alam arranging an independent medical examination and at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.
The superintendent of the jail could not be reached for comments after several attempts on Friday.
Jailor of Dhaka Central Jail Mahbubul Islam Milon told New Age Thursday evening that doctors of the jail hospital examined Shahidul Alam Thursday morning and his condition was nothing serious and he did not need to be shifted to any other hospital.
He claimed that Shahdul Alam’s family did not complain to the authorities about any such problem.
On August 6, Dhaka additional chief metropolitan magistrate Asaduzzaman Noor remanded Shahidul Alam in police custody for seven days for interrogation in the case with Ramna police station under Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act few hours after his arrest at his Dhanmondi house on August 5 evening.
Shahidul Alam was arrested few hours after he had given an interview to Doha-based television channel Al Jazeera on the student protests for road safety.
He was taken to Bangabndhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital on August 8 following a High Court order.
He was sent to jail by a Dhaka metropolitan magistrate on August 12 when the police produced him before the court after interrogating him in custody.