Background, added by Care2: "Alam has been detained by the police. The one and only reason he was arrested is that he gave an interview to al-Jazeera in which he expressed views critical of the Bangladeshi regime's brutal repression of public demonstrations in Dhaka, and had allegedly posted equally critical statements on Facebook.
Alam's arrest must be seen in the context of the ongoing commission of illegal and violent acts perpetrated against demonstrators by the government and its extra-governmental actors. These acts include the use of rubber bullets fired indiscriminatingly into crowds, alleged rapes, and killings. International NGOs such as Unicef and Amnesty International have issued statements condemning this, and others will surely follow suit.
A free press is a fundamental and essential element of all democracies. Its repression cannot be taken as anything but the efforts of authoritarian regimes to deny the world insight into its operations and policies. The attack on Alam at once brutalises this person and destroys the right to a free press. We condemn his unjust treatment unequivocally." - from open letter published in The Guardian.
ORIGINAL PETITION TEXT:
We strongly believe in the freedom of the press and the safety for all journalists. The most recent attack and atrocity is the detention of Shahidul Alam, Bangladeshi photographer, activist and founder of Drik, Pathshala South Asian Media Institute and Chobi Mela International Photography Festival.
We collectively demand that Shahidul Alam be released immediately as he has the right to freedom of expression.