Documentary, Events, News, Photojournalism

Shahidul Alam has been released from jail

Shahidul Alam pictured at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute campus, image courtesy of Pathshala

The award-winning photographer was finally freed this evening after 107 days in jail

Bangladeshi photographer and social activist Shahidul Alam was freed from Dhaka Central Jail at on 21 November, after being locked up for 107 days for spreading “propaganda and false information”.

The 63-year old photographer and Drik Gallery director was arrested at his home in Dhaka on 05 August, and was charged with violating Section 57 of Bangladesh’s Information and Communication Technology Act (ICT), which has been used in more than 20 recent cases involving journalists, most of them related to news-reporting, according to Bangladeshi paper The Daily Star.

Alam was arrested after he stated in an interview with Al Jazeera that the the wave of student protests in Bangladesh against unsafe roads was a reaction to pent-up anger at government corruption. Alam was initally denied bail on 11 September, and was finally granted bail from the High Court five days ago. 

Alam told AFP he hoped his release would “signal freedom for many others” also detained during the massive student demonstrations. “It is a fantastic feeling to be free in a free country, breathing free air. But I hope for freedom for everyone else,” he said.

www.bjp-online.com/2018/08/photographer-and-social-activist-arrested-for-provocative-comments-in-wake-of-bangladesh-protests/

++This story was updated on 24 November at 08.10am to remove a quote from Alam, as its authenticity is now in doubt++