AI, HRW demand Shahidul’s immediate release

Staff Correspondent . Dhaka | Update:

Activist and photographer Shahidul Alam arrives surrounded by policemen for an appearance in a court in Dhaka on 6 August. Photo: AFPRegretting a Dhaka court’s rejection of bail sought for renowned photographer Shahidul Alam, two global rights bodies urged the Bangladesh government to release him immediately and unconditionally.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, in separate statements on Tuesday, also accused the Bangladesh government of human rights violation.

Terming Shahidul as ‘prisoner of conscience’, Liondon-based Amnesty International’s South Asia campaigner said, “Beyond the injustice to Shahidul Alam himself, the case risks tarnishing Bangladesh’s reputation globally.”

Human Rights Watch, too, also alleged that human rights have repeatedly been compromised during the decade of ruling Awami League’s tenure.

The HRW criticised enforced disappearances of opposition supporters, extrajudicial killings and muzzling of the media.

New York-based HRW also made a mention in the statement of he matte of imprisonment of opposition leader Khaleda Zia and road safety campaigner Mozammel Hoque Chowdhury.

HRW urged the international community to respond against what it called the ‘government’s flagrant abuses’ and raise a voice for release of Shahidul and others held in 'politically motivated cases'.

Shahidul Alam was arrested on 5 August under the section 57 of controversial Information and Communication Technology, following his interview with Al-Jazeera.

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