M Humayun Kabir: British MP Tulip Siddiq, niece of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has urged her aunt to release noted photojournalist Shahidul Alam who is now in jail.
Tulip, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, said that the detention was “deeply distressing and should end immediately”, The Daily Star reported quoting the report of the British newspaper The Times.
Bangladesh “must uphold international standards of justice in treating its own citizens,” Tulip was quoted as saying according to the report published Tuesday.
She added, “I would hope our Foreign Office will convey that message in stark terms to a country that is seen as a close ally.”
Tulip is one of many artists, Nobel laureates, rights activists, academics and politicians who condemned Alam’s arrest and demanded his immediate release.
Shahidul Alam, 63, was arrested on August 5 in Bangladesh after reporting on schoolchildren’s protests about poor road safety in the country and he has since claimed that he has been tortured, reports The Times.
He has UK residency and his work has been displayed at Tate Modern, the Whitechapel Gallery, MoMA in New York and the Pompidou in Paris, the report said.
He was charged with making “provocative comments” under section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act and placed on a seven-day remand.
He was initially denied access to a lawyer and was allegedly beaten up by law enforcers.
Shahidul was sent to jail on August 12.