** WHO recommendations need to be implemented to fight dengue before it takes an alarming turn ** At least 24 dead, dozens missing in Panchagarh boat capsize ** GK Shamim, bodyguards sentenced to life term ** NRCC Chairman demands jail for river polluters ** 15 hurt in BCL infighting at Eden College ** Oil, sugar sell at high price ** Missing Khulna woman handed over to daughter’s custody ** Evaly another example of fraud business ** Thousands of people marched through Iran's capital during a pro-hijab rally Saturday, paying tribute to security forces who have moved to quell a week of protests by what media called 'conspirators'. Agency photo ** Dengue outbreak takes serious turn ** ‘Europe should open to Russians fleeing Putin mobilisation’ ** 50 people killed in Iran protest crackdown ** Govt responsible for the current economic situation, says Reza Kibria ** Over 32,000 venues set up for Durga Puja ** Stop Russia-Ukraine war immediately: PM at UNGA ** World Rivers Day 77 rivers disappear from BD map 6,000 hectares land is lost every year due to river erosion ** Secret killings and forced disappearances were far too many that they call for an impartial probe under UN ** Border queues build as people flee Russia to escape Putin’s call-up ** An excavator digs a dead tributary of Buriganga River at Kamrangirchar in the capital on Friday as the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has launched a project to ensure water flow through the anabranch. ** Apparel exporters worried about fall in orders ** Seniority of project employees to be counted from the date of regularisation: SC ** House tutor among 3 held ** Pro-government rallies held in Iran amid mass protests ** Islam has not given anybody right to enforce dress code on women ** Death toll from Iran unrest climbs to 31 **

Demands to release Shahidul Alam gather force at UNGA

29 September 2018

South Asian Citizens Web, New York :
Demonstrators gathered outside the UN General Assembly on September 27 to call for freedom of the press and protection of journalists in Bangladesh. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), PEN America, Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch joined family and friends of Shahidul Alam to demand his release, as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed addressed the UN General Assembly. The protest was endorsed by human rights groups and journalist associations, rights activist Kerry Kennedy, actress/activist Sharon Stone, and attended by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, among others.
Alam, an internationally renowned Bangladeshi photographer, photojournalist and activist, has been in police custody since August 5, following an interview on Al Jazeera in which he claimed that the broader context of ongoing student protests was pent-up anger at government corruption and misuse of power. The 63-year-old Alam says he has been beaten in custody, and his health has deteriorated in prison. His bail hearing has been postponed repeatedly, dragging out the judiciary process in a war of attrition. "The world has a good image of Bangladesh because of its response to the Rohingya crisis. The detention of Shahidul is tarnishing that image." said Alam's cousin, Salma Ahmed.
Ahead of elections in December, a culture of fear is building up in Bangladesh as activists, opposition, and academia are being rounded up. At the demonstration, Columbia University professor Gayatri Spivak pointed out, "What is really important for the state is that if one silences the creative artists and intellectuals, then the conscience of the state is killed because its the role of the creatives artists and intellectuals to make constructive criticism so that the state can be a real democracy."
"Shahidul is a living legend who taught throughout his life how to see the light of our country, even during her darkest hours. He has always come from a place of integrity and sacrificed himself for all of us by speaking truth to power, and for that he is being wrongly imprisoned.", said Wasfia Nazreen, National Geographic Explorer and Bangladesh's only Seven Summiteer.

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