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

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42