• Over 250 Photographers, Artists, Journalists and Activists Demand Immediate Release of Dr. Shahidul Alam

    Free Shahidul Alam

    Press Release

    August 8, 2018

    Activist and photographer Shahidul Alam surrounded by policemen for a court appearance in Dhaka on Aug. 6, 2018/ Image Courtesy:TIME

    Over 250 photographers, Artists, Journalists and activists including:

    Ram Rahman, Vivan Sundaram, Parthiv Shah, Pushpamala N., Raghu Rai, Devika Daulet-Singh, Pablo Bartholomew, Prashant Panjiar, Dinesh Khanna, Sunil Gupta, Jitish Kalat, Krishen Khanna, Ravi Aggarwal and Gauri Gill, have issued a statement demanding Bangladesh photographer Shahidul Alam’s immediate release. The statement with is as follows: 

    In a shocking development, late night on 5 August 2018, Dr. Shahidul Alam, internationally renowned photographer, pedagogue, activist, and founder of Drik and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, was forcibly abducted from his house in Dhanmondi, Dhaka in Bangladesh. According to eyewitnesses, around 30 to 35 plainclothes men, claiming to be from the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, forcibly entered Dr. Alam’s home, pushed him into a waiting car and sped away. They taped up the CCTV camera and took away the camera footage. The security guards were manhandled and locked up.

    Additional Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (Detective Branch), Abdul Baten, told UNB (United News of Bangladesh) that Dr. Shahidul Alam has been detained for interrogation over his Facebook posts on the ongoing student protests in Bangladesh. Later news reports confirm that Dr. Alam has been arrested under the draconian ICT Act (Information and Communication Technology Act), routinely used to suppress freedom of speech, and to harass writers, activists and journalists for their comments on social media. When Dr. Alam was produced before a Dhaka court on Monday, 6 August, he had to be supported as he could not walk on his own. He had been made to wash his own bloodied clothes to wear again. The Dhaka police were granted a 7-day remand after producing him before the court.

    There have been further developments. On Tuesday, 7 August, the court ordered that Dr. Alam be taken to a government hospital for a medical check-up in response to a petition filed by his lawyers; however, the written orders were not produced in time and so he spent another night in police custody. He was finally taken to hospital at 9.30 am today, 8 August, but it appears that once the medical checkup takes place he will be back in police custody. The next hearing at the court is on Thursday, 9 August 2018, when the State lawyers will attempt to oppose the High Court order and argue against it.

    The detention and murderous attack on Dr. Shahidul Alam is symptomatic. Writers, journalists and social media activists in Bangladesh have over the last several years suffered similar repression. Dr. Alam is determined to hold on to the ideal of social justice and to engage in action that strengthens democratic and egalitarian values. He has disseminated these ideas through his critical writings, a sustained pedagogical programme around photography and numerous curatorial projects that engage the public.  He is admired and respected all across the world and especially in South Asia for his exemplary work as a photographer-activist and for his courageous stand on the fraught relationship between the State and the people.cultural

    Consider how Dr Alam’s position resonates with that in India; how it  adds to the urgencies needing to be addressed by the citizenry here.

    We condemn, in the strongest possible way, the arrest, and dishonour done to Dr. Shahidul Alam. The message is simple. Dr. Alam exercised his right as a citizen. No charges must be bought under section 57 of the draconian ICT Act. brutality

    We demand his immediate and unconditional release.

     

    Aban Raza

    Abhay Sardesai

    Abhijan Gupta

    Abhishek Hazra

    Adira Thekkuveetil

    Aditi De

    Aishwaryan K

    Ajay Sinha

    Akkitham Vasudevan

    Alnoor Mitha

    Aman Bahl

    Amar Kanwar

    Amita Desai

    Amrita Jhaveri

    Anant Joshi

    Ananya Vajpeyi

    Anita Dube

    Anita Khemka

    Anju Dodiya

    Anmol Vellani

    Anoli Perera

    Anshuman Dasgupta

    Anup Mathew Thomas

    Anuradha Kapur

    Anusha Yadav

    Aquin Mathews

    Archana hande

    Arpana Caur

    Arshiya Lokhandwala

    Arun Kumar HG

    Arundhati Ghosh

    Arvind Lodaya

    Ashish Rajadhyaksha

    Ashwathi Vijaykumar

    Astad Deboo

    Avinash Veeraraghavan

    Ayesha Singh

    Babitha Lingraj

    Babu Eshwar Prasad

    Bari Kumar

    Belinder Dhanoa

    Bharat Chowdhary

    Bharat Sikka

    Bharati Kapadia

    Bhavna Kakar

    C.F. John

    Chandan Gomes

    Chander Haat

    Chimuk Kaur

    Chinar Shah

    Chittrovanu Mazumdar

    Clay Kelton

    Cop Shiva

    Daljeet Wadhwa

    Dayanita Singh

    Deepa Bhasthi

    Deepak Ananth

    Deepanjana Pal

    Desmond Lazaro

    Devika Daulet Singh

    Dhruv Malhotra

    Dileep Prakash

    Dimple B. Shah

    Dinesh Khanna

    Diva Gujral

    Fawzan Husain

    Franck Barthelemy

    Gargi Raina

    Gauri Gill

    Gayatri Sinha

    Geeta Kapur

    Gigi Scaria

    Gitanjali Dang

    Gopika Chowfla

    Gopika Nath

    Gulammohammed Sheikh

    Hans Kaushik

    Harish Tyagi

    Harsha Vardhana

    Himangshu Dhanda

    Himanshu Joshi

    Imran B. Kokiloo

    Indira Chandrasekhar

    Indrapramit Roy

    Jagadeesh Reddy

    Jahangir Asgar Jani

    Jamshed Chinoy

    Jasmeen Patheja

    Jatin Das

    Jeroo Mulla

    Jitish Kalat

    Jyotindra Jain

    K. P. Reji

    Kajri Jain

    Kaushik Narayan Ramanathan

    Ketaki Sheth

    Kirtana Thangavelu

    Krishen Khanna

    Kristine Michael

    Kurchi Dasgupta,

    Lalitha Shankar

    Leena Chethan

    M. Madhava Prasad

    M. S. Prakash Babu

    M.K. Raina

    Madan Gopal Singh

    Madhuban Mitra

    Madhusree Dutta

    Malvika Murali

    Manas Acharya

    Manas Bhattacharya

    Manish Pushkale

    Manisha Gera Baswani

    Manmeet Devgun

    Mariam Suhail

    Maseeh Rahman

    Maya Krishna Rao

    Meenakshi Shedde

    Megha Mehndiratta

    Mekhala Bahl

    Mithu Sen

    Mohita Bhatia

    Mrugen Rathod

    Murali Cheeroth

    N.K. Sharma

    Nalini Malani

    Nancy Adajania

    Nandakumar Raman

    Nandesha Shanthi Prakash

    Naveen Kumar

    Navjot Altaf

    Navroze Contractor

    Neha Choksi

    Nilima Sheikh

    Nimi Ravindran

    Nina Sabnani

    Niyati Ozha Srivatsava

    P. Daroz

    Pablo Bartholomew

    Parthiv Shah

    Parvathi Nayar

    Parvathi Nayar

    Pooja Sood

    Pooja Vukosavich

    Prabir Purkayasth

    Pradeep Das Gupta

    Prakash Babu

    Prakash Moorthy

    Prashant Panjiar

    Pratul Dash

    Probir Gupta

    Purshottam Diwakar

    Pushpamala N

    R. Nandakumar

    R. Siva Kumar

    Radhakrishnan KS

    Radhika Chopra

    Raghavendra Rao Kulkarni

    Raghu A Wodeyar

    Rahul Gudipudi

    Rajendra Prasad

    Rakhi Peswani

    Ram Rahman

    Raman Siva Kumar

    Ranbir Kaleka

    Randhir Singh

    Ranjit Hoskote

    Ira Raja

    Rashmi Munikempanna

    Ratnabali Kant

    Ravi Agarwal

    Ravikumar Kashi

    Reena Saini Kallat

    Rekha Hebbar Rao

    Ribhu Borphukon

    Riyas Komu

    Rohini Devasher

    Rohit Chawla

    Rosalyn Dmello

    Roshan Shahani

    Ruchira Gupta

    Sabeena Gadihoke

    Sabih Ahmed

    Sabina Kidwai

    Sadanand Menon

    Sahej Rahal

    Samar Singh Jodha

    Samit Das

    Sandeep Biswas

    Sasanka Perera

    Sashi Kumar

    Saurab Hura

    Seher Shah

    SG Vasudev

    Shaina Anand

    Shalini Sawhney

    Shamala Billava

    Shamala Nandesha

    Shanta Gokhale

    Shantamani Muddiah

    Sharbendu De

    Sheeba Chhachhi

    Shefalee Jain

    Shilpa Gupta

    Shireen Gandhi

    Shohini Ghosh

    Shreyas Karle

    Shukla Sawant

    Siddharth Laxman

    Sindhu Thirumalaisam

    Sohail Akbar

    Sohail Hashmi

    Sonal Khullar

    Sonia Khurana

    Soumyadip Ghosh

    Srinath Iswaran

    Subba Ghosh

    Suchismita Ukil

    Sudharak Olwe

    Sudharshan Shetty

    Sudhir Patwardhan

    Sumakshi Singh

    Suman Gopinath

    Sumesh Sharma

    Summer Kohli

    Suneel Mamadapur

    Suneet Chopra

    Sunil Gupta

    Sunil Kothari

    Sunitha Kumar Emmart

    Surabhi Sharma

    Suresh Jayaram

    Sushma Bahl

    Susie Tharu

    Tabasheer Zutshi

    Tallur L.N.

    Tanveer Ajsi

    Tapati Guha

    Tapati Guha-Thakurta

    Tara Sabharwal

    Umesh Kumar

    Vani Subramanian

    Vasudevan Akkitham

    Veer Munshi

    Vibha Galhotra

    Vidisha Saini

    Vidya Shivadas

    Vijay Prashad

    Vinod Bhardwaj

    Vivan Sundaram

    Vivek Vilasini

    Yashodhara Dalmia

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