Amid the ongoing violent student’s protests in Bangladesh, veteran photojournalist Shahidul Alam was arrested from his home in Dhaka after he posted a video about the clashes. Around 40 people, who were officials of the detective branch, entered his house, forcibly dragged him into the car and sped away. The group of men also allegedly destroyed the building’s CCTV cameras. He was taken to the office of the Detective Branch for interrogation in connection with his Facebook posts, reports CPJ.
Alam, an award-winning photographer, has worked with major media organisations around the world. He is also the founder and managing director of the Drik Gallery and the creator of the Pathshala South Asian Media Academy, a premier photography school in Bangladesh.
He had posted photographs of the ongoing students’ protests and had talked about it in a Facebook Live video.
Alam also spoke to Al Jazeera in which he highlighted ‘the looting of the banks, the gaggling of the media, the extrajudicial killings, disappearings, bribery and corruption’ during the protests. He also alleged that police is using the help of goons to tackle student protesters.
Meanwhile, police officials said that Alam is being interrogated for giving false information to different media and for his provocative statements. Police official Moshiur Rahman told AFP that the department is planning to book him.
It all started last week when a speeding bus crushed two teenage students in Dhaka triggering massive students’ protests. The students took to streets demanding a crackdown on errant drivers and increased safety on roads. Violent clashes were witnessed in Dhaka and adjoining areas leaving more than 100 students injured. While the government appealed the students to maintain calm, members from the ruling party’s Bangladesh Chhatra League allegedly attacked protesting students. There were attacks on several journalists and photographers.
Tasneem Khalil, a journalist shared the video of Associated Press (AP) photographer A M Ahad getting attacked allegedly by BCL activists:
According to a report by the Dhaka Tribune, around 20-25 journalists were attacked allegedly by Bangladesh Chhatra League activists during the protests. Associated Press photojournalist AM Ahad suffered injuries and is undergoing treatment at a hospital.