Friends of Shahidul Alam on Tuesday said works of the noted photographer symbolised freedom of expression — a pillar of democracy.
They said this during the inauguration of a seven-day photograph exhibition titled ‘A Struggle for Democracy.’
Drik Picture Library arranged exhibition in protest against the detention of the internationally acclaimed photographer and also to mark the day Drik started journey in 1989.
Shahidul has been kept detained by the law enforcement agencies since August 5 for his video comment on the recent student movement in an interview with an international broadcasting channel, which the government termed as anti-state activity.
Addressing a pre-inauguration press briefing, Drik director Rahnuma Ahmed said Shahidul’s detention was a grave violation of law.
She added that Shahidul carried out struggle for democracy through photography, which was still relevant in the present context of the country’s political situation.
Rights activist Khushi Kabir said Shahidul’s detention gave a clear message to all rights activists that the state could even use the judicial system to suppress people’s freedom of expression.
Shahudul’s friend Meghna Guhathakurta, also the daughter of martyred intellectual Jyotirmay Guhathakurta, said the state’s allegation against Shahidul was baseless.
Jahangirnagar University professor Anu Muhammad said that Shahidul’s imprisonment and repeated denial of his bail proved that the government was scared of truth.
Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, a legal consultant of Shahidul in the court, said there was no valid material in the government’s allegation against Shahidul.
Around 25 photographs by Shahidul captured during 1980 and 2010 were on display at the show.
Themes of the photos include natural disaster, lives of migration workers, lives of sex workers, human rights abuses, disappearances of political opponents and international figures such as Nelsen Mandela.
The exhibition will be open to visitors from 3:00pm to 8:00pm every day till Monday.