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Dhaka, Saturday 19 Jan, 2019

HC drops Shahidul’s bail plea from cause list

Staff Correspondent Daily-Bangladesh.com
File Photo

A High Court bench today dropped a petition seeking bail of noted photographer Shahidul Alam from its cause list.

The bench of Justice AKM Asaduzzaman and Justice SM Mozibur Rahman passed the order after hearing arguments from Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, Shahidul’s lawyer Barrister Sara Hossain, and watching the video footage of the Al Jazeera TV interview and Facebook live post of Shahidul Alam during the recent student movement for road safety in August this year.

Shahidul Alam is now in Dhaka Central Jail, did not get bail in the case filed under the controversial Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act.

Barrister Sara Hossain told reporters that they will move the bail petition of Shahidul before another High Court bench.

She said the statement mentioned in First Information Report (FIR) of the case and the statements made by Shahidul in Al Jazeera TV interview and Facebook live post have no consistency.

Earlier, on October 29, the High Court sought a video footage of the interview given by internationally acclaimed photographer Shahidul Alam to Al Jazeera English and his Facebook live post during student demonstrations for safe roads in August this year.

The court asked Attorney General Mahbubey Alam to produce the video footage and Facebook live post before it today.

Shahidul filed the petition with the High Court on September 18 seeking bail in a case for “spreading propaganda against the government”.

Shahidul submitted the application to the HC through his lawyers, saying he is ill and he will not leave the country if he is granted bail.

In the petition, he also said the allegations brought against him in the case do not fall under section 57.

Earlier, on September 10, Shahidul’s lawyers moved another petition before the HC for his bail in the case filed by the police with Ramna Police Station on August 6.

After hearing the appeal, the HC bench of Justice Md Rezaul Haque and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman the same day directed the lower court concerned to dispose of the bail application by September 11.

The court concerned rejected the petition on September 11.

Shahidul, also a founder of Drik Picture Library, was picked up by plainclothes men from his home in the capital’s Dhanmondi on August 5. Police filed the case against him and produced him before a Dhaka court the following day. He was then placed on a seven-day remand.

In court, Shahidul said he was tortured in custody. Police denied the allegation.

On completion of his remand, Shahidul was denied bail and sent to jail by a Dhaka court on August 13.

On September 4, a judge of another HC bench felt “embarrassed” to hear Shahidul’s bail petition in the case, and the bench forwarded the appeal to the chief justice for a decision. The bench, however, did not disclose any reason for it.


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