Amartya Sen urges govt to release Shahidul Alam
M Humayun Kabir: Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen has urged the government of Bangladesh to release eminent photographer and social activist Shahidul Alam, who is now in jail
“Freedom of expression, including through photojournalism, is extremely important for democracy. We have good reason to admire the work that Shahidul Alam has been doing with great skill and courage for many years. His work should receive praise and appreciation, rather than being ground for harsh treatment,” Sen said.
With his statement, Amartya Sen joins many artists, Nobel laureates, rights organisations, academics and politicians across the globe who condemned Alam’s arrest and demanded his immediate release.
Outlook India, an Indian magazine, Saturday reported quoting Sen as saying recently it to a group of Indian photographers who are running a campaign in support of Alam, reports The Daily Star.
On Saturday, as many as 426 academics from various universities in Australia urged the Government of Bangladesh to immediately release photographer Shahidul Alam.
According to a statement, they also condemned the detention, alleged torture and proposed prosecution of Shahidul as well as the recent violence against students and journalists during protests for road safety.
The academics sent the statement to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal. Copies were also sent to Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Julia Niblett and Bangladesh High Commissioner to Australia Mohammad Sufiur Rahman.
Shahidul was picked up from his Dhanmondi residence by plainclothes law enforcers shortly after he had given an interview to Al-Jazeera on the students’ protests.
He was charged with making “provocative comments” under section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act and placed on seven days’ remand. He was sent to jail on August 12.