Fifty-two citizens of Bangladesh in a statement on Tuesday demanded immediate release of internationally acclaimed photographer Shahidul Alam.
In a statement, calling themselves as ‘ordinary citizens of Bangladesh’, they also demanded immediate protection of his citizen rights.
Shahidul Alam, 63, was picked up by plainclothes police from his home on August 5 after he spoke about the recent schoolchildren’s protests for road safety in an interview with Al Jazeera and documented protests and discussed the matter on Facebook Live.
Shahidul Alam was interrogated in police custody by the Detective Branch for seven days and later a Dhaka metropolitan magistrate on August 12 sent him to jail.
The 52 citizens also demanded repeal of Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act and other laws contradictory to the protection of rights of a citizen.
In the statement, Dhaka University professor emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury, educationist Ajoy Roy, university professors Anu Muhammad and Gitiara Nasreen, rights activists Hamida Hossain and Sultana Kamal, and cultural activist Lubna Marium, among others, also said that getting bail was a normal legal right of any citizen, and Shahidul Alam also should enjoy the right as a citizen.
Shahidul is a photographer, academic, human rights activist, and founder of Drik Picture Library and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, which has trained hundreds of photographers.
The Chobi Mela photo festival, which he started in 1999, brings photographers from around the world to Bangladesh.