Shahidul Alam has been released from jail

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Bangladeshi photographer and social activist Shahidul Alam was freed from Dhaka Central Jail at on 21 November, after being locked up for 107 days for spreading “propaganda and false information”.

The 63-year old photographer and Drik Gallery director was arrested at his home in Dhaka on 05 August, and was charged with violating Section 57 of Bangladesh’s Information and Communication Technology Act (ICT), which has been used in more than 20 recent cases involving journalists, most of them related to news-reporting, according to Bangladeshi paper The Daily Star.

Alam was arrested after he stated in an interview with Al Jazeera that the the wave of student protests in Bangladesh against unsafe roads was a reaction to pent-up anger at government corruption. Alam was initally denied bail on 11 September, and was finally granted bail from the High Court five days ago. 

Alam told AFP he hoped his release would “signal freedom for many others” also detained during the massive student demonstrations. “It is a fantastic feeling to be free in a free country, breathing free air. But I hope for freedom for everyone else,” he said.

++This story was updated on 24 November at 08.10am to remove a quote from Alam, as its authenticity is now in doubt++

Marigold Warner

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Online Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Gal-dem, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.