Thousands of Bangladeshi high school students have been protesting in Dhaka, Bangladesh following the death of two teenagers who were killed by a speeding bus on 29 July. The demonstrators have been demanding justice for the teenagers, as well as calling for stricter enforcement of traffic laws.
Shahidul Alam, the internationally acclaimed photographer, has also been arrested following an interview on the unrest, and charged under Bangladesh’s Information Communications Technology Act.
Rushanara Ali MP said:
“It is deeply concerning that following student protests seeking better road safety in Dhaka, there have been violent clashes leading to many fatalities. I welcome the Bangladeshi Government’s recognition of the need to improve road safety, and hope that progress will follow as a matter of urgency.
Incidents of unlawful or disproportionate violence or action against protestors and journalists must be brought to an end. The right to peaceful protest and free speech should be protected, and the perpetrators of violence should be held to account.
I have received numerous representations from my constituents, who are friends of Mr Shahidul Alam, seeking assistance following his arrest and calling for his immediate release. Mr Alam is well-known in the wider British Bangladeshi community for his photography, having held many exhibitions in the UK, including in schools and the Rich Mix Arts Centre in my constituency, along with other national institutions.
We are very concerned about his safety and wellbeing, and urge the Government of Bangladesh to recognise his right to free speech and fair treatment.”
Notes to Editors:
1) For further information or comment please contact Rushanara Ali MP’s Office on 020 7219 7200 or email [email protected]
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Shahidul Alam never said that ‘protestors were being murdered and girls were being raped’…these are the allegations of someone who is deliberately distorting the truth. In terms of the elections, the official version of the US Government (besides EU,UK and UN) was that the election “did not appear to credibly express the will of the Bangladeshi people” in an election where 60% of the candidates were unopposed and thus did not have to face the vote, with an overall turnout of 20%. This post is in itself a classic example of disinformation and it also says ‘He deserve this situation and govt should interogate him properly’, thus condoning state sponsored abduction, torture and suspension of basic human rights.
In solidarity, Rachel