Mohammad Rakibul Hasan is a Bangladeshi photographer working for Zuma Press in the US. He also works as a freelance photographer for various local and foreign organisations. This Bangladeshi photographer received the prestigious The Human Rights Press Award this year for his photographs of rape survivor Rohingya women.
It all started in 2007. He used to go to Cox’s Bazaar to take pictures. He went to the Rohingya camp in Cox’s Bazaar to click pictures of displaced Rohingya refugees for his organisation.
He met Rohingya women who were raped by the Myanmar army before they fled for refuge to Bangladesh. He took their photos and listened to their stories that made his heart bleed.
He created a series with the photographs in 2018, called ‘Looted honour’. Rakubul Hasan received the 23rd Human Rights Press Award for these photographs this year.
The Hong Kong based organisation honours media persons for their outstanding report on human rights issues across Asia every year.
The sponsors of the award event are The Foreign Correspondents Club, Hong Kong , Hong Kong Journalist Association and Amnesty International. Rakibul was selected in the Photo Series category out of 16 several categories.
His photos depicted the grievous sufferings of Rohingya women that shook up anybody.
“It’s a very sensitive task. It is unethical to reveal the identity and image of a rape victim as per the rule of journalism. It’s different in this matter. Many of them sought justice,” Rakibul told Prothom Alo.
“I only took photographs and interviews of those who consented and agreed to talk,” he added.
Rakibul was affected by the horror and trauma of those rape survivors.
Rakibul began his photography career in 2002 when he was a graduate student of Sydney University, Australia. Photography became his profession when he started his career as a photographer in a national daily newspaper in Bangladesh in 2006.
Besides, he took numerous photos that illustrated effects of climate change, river erosion and the traumatic stories of atrocities to the Rohingya refugees.
Rakibul went to take photos in conflict areas such as the Philippines. He tooke shots of a conflict between to militant groups in there.
He received recognitions for that works. He was awarded several times at home and abroad.
He received the Lucy Award-2018 from USA.
“Receiving an award is always a matter of great joy. It develops one’s sense of responsiblity and boosts interest in work,” Rakibul said.
“Human rights issues are of my great interest. We may not be able to stop wars by photography. What we can do is awaken people’s thoughts. And that may decrease wars to an extent,” he added.
*This piece, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Farjana Liakat