Konnie Huq 'appalled' by the arrest of Bangladeshi photojournalist

Monday 10th September 2018 14:17 EDT

Television presenter Konnie Huq and the sister of MP Rupa Huq has said that she has lost pride in her Bangladeshi homeland after renowned photojournalist Shahidul Alam was arrested. Mr Alam, who is famous for chronicling human-rights abuses, was arrested on August 5th, by the Dhaka metropolitan police for allegedly damaging “the image of the nation”.

The photographer, who has covered Bangladesh’s alleged use of death squads and the Rohingya refugee crisis, has been a vocal supporter of student protests in the country. Mr Alam has been accused of breaching Bangladesh’s Information and Communications Technology Act because of an interview he gave to Al Jazeera.

In a short video Huq reportedly said she was “really appalled at the treatment of Shahidul Alam”.

She attended a demonstration against Mr Alam’s incarceration outside the Bangladesh High Commission in London on Friday.

She reportedly said: “To be taken by force and put into prison just because of your beliefs is something that I did not think the Bangladesh government was capable of.

“In recent years it has transpired that that is not the case at all and people are beginning to think of my country, that I used to be very proud of, as one with an objectionable government.”

She added: “I really hope he gets freed. I just want justice.”

Huq has campaigned for the photographer’s release on social media and in August tweeted saying that she was “sickened and upset” by his ongoing detention.

Her sister Rupa Huq, the MP for Ealing Central and Acton, has also campaigned against Mr Alam’s ongoing detention and wrote to the Foreign Office asking them to work for his release.

In a statement made to Mr Alam’s niece, Foreign Office minister Mark Fields said the issue had been raised by the UK Government with the Bangladeshi minister for foreign affairs.

Dancer and choreographer Akram Khan, artists Anthony Gormley and Anish Kapoor and Film-maker Steve McQueen are some of the high-profile figures who are campaigning for his release.

comments powered by Disqus

to the free, weekly Asian Voice email newsletter