Sayeed Muhammad: Art and photography installations calling for the release of Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam have gone up around the Valley, with Kathmandu set to welcome several heads of state, including Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The leaders will be attending the fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), reports The Kathmandu Post .
The installations, put up by photo.circle, display Alam’s quotes and photographs. Alam, a photographer, writer and activist, was arrested from his home in Dhaka on August 5, reportedly following an interview to Aljazeera. In the interview, he was critical of the Bangladeshi government. Alam has been charged with “spreading propaganda and false information against the government.”
Calls demanding his release are being made around the world by journalists, academics, human rights actors and organisations such as Amnesty International, Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) and the Pulitzer Center among hundreds of others.
Of late, Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen issued a statement in support of Alam. “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.” he said in the statement.