Photographer-activist Shahidul Alam has been released from jail over three months after his arrest on charges of spreading rumours during student protests for road safety. His release on Tuesday night was delayed by hours due to dissimilarity in his home addresses mentioned in the order and the prison papers, the authorities said. His family members, friends and well-wishers waited at the gates of Dhaka Central Jail at Keraniganj for hours from the morning, but the authorities initially said he was not getting released on the day.
“The address mentioned in the bail order is not the same as the one in the paperwork we have. So weve sent back the order to the corresponding court for correction. We will take necessary steps after getting the corrected order,” Jailor Mahbubul Alam told bdnews24.com in the evening.
The jailor later confirmed that the photographer was released.
The High Court on Nov 15 granted bail to Shahidul, who has been behind bars for over three months, in response to a ruling on his bail announced by the court a month ago.
Police arrested Shahidul, 63, on Aug 5 on charges of spreading rumours during a campaign for safer roads by students in Dhaka.
Later they started a case under the ICT Act against Shahidul alleging that he had “provoked people and spread false propaganda”.
Nobel laureates Desmond Tutu, Muhammad Yunus and Amartya Sen and many others at home and abroad had demanded Shahiduls release, saying the government is hindering the freedom of speech through his arrest.
The government, on the other hand, said Shahidul had “hatched a conspiracy to use the children campaigning for safer roads to create unrest in the country”.
Shahidul is the founder of the Drik Gallery and Pathshala South-Asian Media Institute.