BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi says ICT Advisor to the Prime Minister Sajeeb Wazed’s remarks regarding the detention of photographer Shahidul Alam are inhumane.
The BNP leader made the comment at a press conference on Saturday at the party’s offices in Naya Paltan on Saturday.
“We believe that Sajeeb Wazed Joy’s remarks regarding photographer Shahidul Alam encourages the unspeakable violence conducted on him by police. These comments are incredibly inhumane.”
Rights groups and activists are demanding the release of Shahidul after police arrested the founder of Drik Gallery and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute on Aug 5 in an ICT Act case.
He is charged with attempting to spread ‘fear and panic’ on the internet using ‘fantastical and provocative lies’ during the students’ road safety movement.
Alam has alleged that he was tortured while in police custody, leading to a condemnation of his arrest from many quarters, including several international organisations.
“If Shahidul Alam is innocent only because he is accomplished and famous, then does that make me above the law as well since I am accomplished and famous too?” the prime minister’s son Sajeeb Wazed asked in a Facebook post on Friday.
Rizvi criticised the remarks on Saturday, reports bdnews24.com.
“Even after it has been butchered, the constitution of Bangladesh preserves the fundamental rights of individuals. He has rejected the section forbidding violence against detainees. Joy has disdained the constitution and the Supreme Court by speaking for torture while in police custody.”
“An internationally renowned photographer such as Shahidul Alam is taken on remand and tortured. And, on the other hand, the journalists attempting to cover the protests have been attacked by armed Chhatra League-Jubo League-Sramik League activists.”
“Why haven’t the members of the Chhatra League-Jubo League-Sramik League who were identified by journalists been taken into custody? Will Sajeeb Wazed Joy answer that question? Will he answer whether these people live above or below the law?”
The BNP leader also criticised Section 57 of the ICT Act.
“This section has been used to stifle freedom of speech. Section 57 hangs like a sword above the heads of writers, intellectuals, columnists, rights groups and free thinking people.”
Rizvi also criticised the government for ‘encouraging’ the ‘anarchy’ on the roads by arresting students and beating them while on remand.