Release Dr. Shahidul Alam!
We are deeply saddened to hear the arrest of Dr. Shahidul Alam charged under the Section 57 of Bangladesh’s Information Communications Technology Act on 6th August 2018.
Dr. Shahidul Alam, internationally renowned photographer, activist, founder and Managing Director of the Bangladesh multimedia company, Drik, founder of Chobi Mela International Photography Festival and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, was forcibly abducted from his home on the night of 5th August after his interview with Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based TV network, criticizing the government for its harsh crackdown on peaceful protests.
Shahidul Alam is a long-time friend of Tibet and a singular voice in photography for human rights and democracy in Bangladesh and for Tibet in particular. He hosted the first ever Tibet exhibition themed “Into Exile: Tibet 1949-2009” in Bangladesh back in 2009 along with Tibet’s supporter Ms. Wasfia Nasreen (activist, mountaineer, social worker and writer in Bangladesh) and displayed series of images portraying unspeakable hardship Tibetans have been facing under the China’s brutal and illegal occupation in Tibet and also highlighted the journey of Tibetans from Tibet to Exile despite the tremendous pressure from the Chinese communist government. He withstood two years of harassment from Chinese govt and Bangladesh’s internal intelligence imposed pressure on him for just that one exhibition.
We were fortunate enough to have Dr. Shahidul Alam as one of our speakers for the “International Seminar on Damming Crisis in Tibet: Threat to Water Security In Asia” in 2016 where he spoke about his work and research on Brahmaputra River.
The recent arrest of award-winner in photography Shahidul Alam has made us question the existence of basic human rights, freedom of expression and justice in a country like Bangladesh. It is extremely saddening yet enraging to see him being framed, imprisoned for speaking out, expressing his thought in his own country- Bangladesh.
We condemned the unjust arrest of Dr. Shahidul Alam and demand for his immediate release.