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FCCT STATEMENT ON THE ARREST AND CHARGING OF SHAHIDUL ALAM


 
The professional membership of the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand deplores the seizure of award-winning Bangladeshi journalist Shahidul Alam from his home at 10pm on Sunday 5 August.

At least 20 plainclothes men surrounded the house. It later emerged that Alam had been arrested by Dhaka police and charged under section 57 of Bangladesh's Information Communications Technology Act, a broad law against electronic communication that "tends to deprave or corrupt" or prejudice the image of the state.

Alam had been interviewed earlier in the evening by Al Jazeera English on his experience covering student demonstrations last week calling for better road safety when more than 100 people were injured. Police fired teargas and rubber bullets, and crowds of people attacked protesters, photographers, and the US ambassador's car.

Friends of Alam reported that he was unable to walk by himself in court, and that he said he had been assaulted in custody.

Alam, an influential voice in photography, is the founder of the Drik Library and the Pathshala South Asian Media Academy, one of the few photography schools in South Asia. He is a co-founder of Majority World, an agency that represents more than 300 photographers from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The professional membership of the FCCT calls on the authorities concerned to release Alam, and to ensure that journalists covering demonstrations in the course of their work are not targeted for reprisal.
 

 
Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand
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