AICA Censorship Committee: Shahidul Alam Detained - Call for his release

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Dear friends,

Our long-time partner, advisor and friend Shahidul Alam was arrested in Bangladesh earlier this week and is still in custody.

Shahidul has never shied away from what is right. His dedication to his community, to the youth of Bangladesh, to the art of photography, and to journalistic principles has not wavered, in spite of great risk to himself.

This is not the first time he has been in danger, but the severity of the current situation compels us to request your help. Please consider sharing on social media, signing a petition or contacting the Bangladesh High Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We are proud to have partnered with Shahidul since 2002. His knowledge, insights, and warmth have guided our work and remain an inspiration to us. Shahidul embodies what we as an organisation stand for. Please find our statement below, signed together with his fellow Network Partners.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about his work and support him.

Kindly yours,

Joumana El Zein Khoury, Director Prince Claus Fund




Dr. Shahidul Alam, internationally renowned photographer, activist, founder and Managing Director of the Bangladesh multimedia company, Drik, founder of Chobi Mela International Photography Festival and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, was forcibly abducted from his home on the night of 5 August.

The next day he appeared in court, apparently so badly beaten that he was unable to walk on his own. Sources say Shahidul is being charged under Bangladesh’s ICT law for his reports on Facebook of ongoing student protests and for an interview he gave to Al Jazeera about the protests.

Shahidul has been a close friend and inspiring partner of the Prince Claus Fund for many years. He is a tireless advocate of values that we share:  that all people should have the right to freedom of cultural expression. Through his reporting and photography he has discovered and shared hidden human stories not only in Bangladesh but of the many other cultures encountered on his travels. 

The Prince Claus Fund and its Network Partners deplore the extreme violence and intimidation exercised in Shahidul’s arrest

We call for his immediate and unconditional release. 
On behalf of the Prince Claus Fund, Joumana El Zein Khoury, Director

Network Partners of the Prince Claus Fund:
Alliance des Editeurs Independants – IAIP, international
Alta Tecnologia Andina, Peru
Arab Image Foundation, Lebanon
Archi Africa, Ghana + Africa
Arthub Asia
Associación Pro Arte y Cultura (APAC), Bolivia
BizArt Art Center, China
Caribbean Contemporary Art (CCA)
Cinematheque de Tanger, Marocco
Compagnie Falinga, Burkina Faso
Creating Independent and Artistic Networks, Argentina (CRIA)
Despina Non-Profit Cultural Association, Brazil
Dokufest – International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kosovo
Dox Box, Syria
Drik Picture Library Ltd., Bangladesh
Hri Institute, Nepal
Jant-Bi, Senegal
Kibii Foundation, Surinam
Land Art Mongolia
Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA), Kenya
Museo d Antioquia, Colombia
Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art (T.I.C.A.), Albania
Redsea Cultural Foundation, Somaliland
Reyum Institute of Arts and Culture, Cambodia
San Art, Vietnam
Studios Kabako, Democratic Republic of Congo
Supersudaca, Latin America
Triangle Arts Trust (TAT), UK
University Centre for Arts and Drama, Ingoma Nshya, Rwanda
Utan Kayu Network, Indonesia
VideoBrazil, Brazil
Visual Culture Research Centre – VCRC, Ukraine
Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIF), Tanzania
Zoe Butt, Vietnam

Prince Claus Fund
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1017 CE Amsterdam