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Prominent activists demand immediate release of man arrested for photographing transfer of Rohingyas

Abul Kalam

‘Photography is not a crime’: Abul Kalam, who has been detained at a police barracks.

International human rights figures, lawyers, academicians, filmmakers, photographers, journalists and human rightsorganizations have been calling for the immediate release of Abul Kalam, an award-winning photographer and Rohingyan refugee. The photographer had been detained at the Kutupalong police barracks until December 30 Wednesday late afternoon.

He was apprehended and then taken to the Camp-in-Charge in Camp 2W Block D5 of Kutupalongand subsequently to the Camp-in-Charge of Kutupalong Registered Camp. Reports say when he was apprehended, he was reportedly physically beaten up.

On 28th December Monday morning Abul set out to take photographs of buses departing the Kutupalongworld's largest refugee camp for Bhasan Char.Abul Kalam has been detained for more than 60 hours despite Bangladeshi law which says, a person in custody should be brought before the courts within 24 hours.

Reports noted that the act done by police was a clear-cut violation of the Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and the directives of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court in BLAST v Bangladesh.

Refugee journalist Shafiur Rahman came in support of Rohingyan photographer Abul Kalam in Twitter.

Others who extended their support and demanded immediate release of Abul includes Dr C R Abrar, Executive Director, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), University of Dhaka Kamal Ahmed, Independent Journalist and Author Shahidul Alam, Bangladeshi PhotojournalistShireen Pervin Huq, Coordinator, Standing with Rohingya Women & Founder Member, Naripokkho Dr Patricia Hynes, Reader in Forced Migration, University of Bedfordshire Bianca Jagger, Founder, President and Chief Executive, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation. Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador. Member of the Executive Director's Leadership Council of Amnesty International USA.

One of Abul Kalam's award-winning images. Photograph: Courtesy Rohingya Photography Competition

The relocation to Bhashan Char is a widely publicized program of the Bangladesh government. It is by no means a secret and has been extensively covered in the media, the release added. Abul Kalam has been a refugee for 28 years. His birth roots are from Borgozbil, Maungdaw, Myanmar.

Throughout recent years,he is a prolific photographer and has documented refugee life. His images have appeared in many publications, and he recently won two prizes in the Rohingya Photography Competition.International human right activists, academicians and journalists said "Photography is not a crime" and extended their solidarity to detained photographer.

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TAGS:Rohingyas Photography Bangladesh Arrest 
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