Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bangladesh snapper in jail after AJ interview



Bangladesh snapper in jail after AJ interview

Bangladesh snapper in jail after AJ interview

Award-winning Bangladesh photographer Shahidul Alam was in jail on Monday, 10 days after being arrested following an interview with Al Jazeera about massive student demonstrations, police said.

Alam, 63, who accused police of assaulting him in custody and was earlier sent to a hospital for a check-up following an order from the high court, was taken to a magistrate’s court late on Sunday.

“The court then sent him to jail,” police official Moshiur Rahman said.

Another police officer told the local Daily Star newspaper that Alam would be kept in prison until the completion of the probe into his charges.

Alam was accused of making “false” and “provocative” statements on Al Jazeera and on Facebook Live as tens of thousands of students protested in Dhaka in late July and early August. He also published photos of the demonstrations.

He is being investigated for allegedly violating Bangladesh’s internet laws, enacted in 2006 and sharpened in 2013, that critics say are used to snuff out dissent and harass journalists.

Alam, whose work has appeared widely in Western media and who founded the renowned Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, faces together with others a maximum 14 years in jail.

‘Beaten so badly’

New York-based Human Rights Watch and London’s Amnesty International have demanded his release.

The renowned photographer told reporters outside court last Monday that he had been beaten so badly in police custody that his tunic needed washing to get the blood out.

Alam’s arrest capped a turbulent week in Bangladesh as students poured onto the streets in Dhaka and elsewhere for nine straight days after two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus.

Last weekend the demonstrations turned violent as some protestors vandalised and torched vehicles and police used tear gas and rubber bullets.

Mobs allegedly aligned with the government and wielding metal rods attacked demonstrators, journalists and even the US ambassador’s car. Some 150 people were injured.

Although the protests fizzled out last week, Bangladesh authorities launched a crackdown on online activists for “spreading rumours” to fuel the unrest.

Police are looking for people behind some 1,000 Facebook accounts and have arrested at least a dozen social media activists.

These include a television actress and the head of an online media outlet.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration