A court in Dhaka on Tuesday rejected a bail petition filed by photographer Shahidul Alam, who was arrested on August 5 for his social media posts supporting the student protests in the city, The Daily Star reported. Alam has been charged with spreading propaganda and false information against the government.
Judge KM Imrul Kayes of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court of Dhaka passed the order, a day after the High Court directed him to dispose of the bail petition by September 11, Dhaka Tribune reported. The 63-year-old photographer is lodged in Dhaka Central Jail. In court, Alam claimed he was tortured in custody. The police denied the allegation.
Last week, another High Court bench refused to hear Alam’s bail petition saying a judge felt embarrassed to hear the matter. The bench, however, did not disclose the reason.
Many notable personalities, including Nobel laureate Amartya Sen along with 11 other Nobel prize winners, have called for Alam’s release. Indian photographer Raghu Rai wrote an open letter to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, expressing “deep hurt” at Alam’s detention. Rai requested Hasina “not to punish the honest, the truthful representative of the youth”.
In a separate statement, Rai and more than 30 prominent Indian photographers, curators and artists demanded Alam’s release. Filmmaker Amar Kanwar, journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurata and artist Gauri Gill were among those who signed the statement.