Eminent photographer Shahidul Alam placed on 7-day remand

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Asianbangla, Dhaka : Dhaka court today placed noted photographer Shahidul Alam on seven-day remand in a case filed against him under Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act.

The court of Dhaka Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Asaduzzaman Noor passed the order this evening after DB inspector Arman Ali produced Shahidul before the court with a 10-day remand prayer.

Earlier today, Shahidul was shown arrested by law enforcers in a case filed under ICT Act 21 hours after he was picked up by detectives from his Dhanmondi residence last night.

Police filed the case against Shahidul Alam with Ramna Police Station for spreading propaganda on Facebook and electronic media against the government and spreading false information about the ongoing student protest on social media, said Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner (media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).

Rahnuma Ahmed, wife of Shahidul Alam, told The Daily Star that she received a phone call to go to the Detective Branch (DB) office when she was at a press conference as the whereabouts of Shahidul Alam was unknown till this morning.

Junaid Saki, chief coordinator of Ganasanghati Andolan, rights activist Khushi Kabir, Shireen Huq of Naripokkho, Tahmina Rahman of Article 19 and Anu Muhammad, Professor of Economics at Jahangirnagar University, were also present at the press briefing at Drik Gallery in Dhanmondi.

All the speakers condemned the detention and demanded immediate release of Shahidul.

“After going to the DB office, at firstly we were informed by policemen that Shahidul will be released on bond,” Rahnuma Ahmed said.

“But later, a police officer informed us that Shahidul will be produced before a court as he has been sued in a case under ICT act,” she added.

Detectives detained Shahidul, founder of Drik Picture Library, last night for interrogation over his Facebook posts on the ongoing nationwide student protest.

Soon after the incident, his wife also filed a complaint with the Dhanmondi Police Station.

According to a Drik statement, Shahidul was forcibly taken away from his house around 10:00pm yesterday.

Quoting eyewitnesses, it said some 30-35 plainclothes men identifying themselves as DB personnel went upstairs and brought Shahidul down.

They taped up the CCTV cameras at the building, and took away the hard disks containing CCTV footage.

The men also manhandled the security guards and locked them up, the statement added.

Shahidul, also founder of Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, came under attack allegedly by Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men while taking video of an attack on students campaigning for road safety near City College in the capital’s Dhanmondi on Saturday afternoon.

Soon after the incident, he took shelter at a nearby guesthouse from where he went live on his Facebook page to share the incident.

Shahidul, an internationally renowned photographer and a social activist, gave an interview to Al Jazeera English where he criticised the government’s role in the ongoing student movement.

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