Requests for the release of men arrested while photographing Rohingya transport


Bangladesh’s authorities face criticism from rights activists, including Bianca Jagger, over the detention of Abul Karam.

Bangladeshi authorities are facing demands to release a Rohingya man who was arrested this week while photographing the relocation of refugees to a disputed island camp. Abul Kalam, 35, has been detained since Monday morning, when he was allegedly beaten before being taken to a police barracks near the refugee camp of Kutupalong, where he has lived since leaving Myanmar in the early 1990s as a refugee. “It is not a felony to take pictures.

“Abul Kalam photographed buses on the way to Bhasan Char… this is by no means a secret and has been widely covered in the media,” a letter requesting his release reads. Bangladesh refugee camp Abul kalam Street photography (@kalamabul408) December 10, 2020
The letter was signed by prominent lawyer Sara Hossain, Bangladeshi and international rights activists and journalists, including Bianca Jagger, renowned Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam, who was detained for months after covering demonstrations in 2018, and Prof. Penny Green, founder of the Queen Mary University of London International State Crime Initiative. In spite of rights issues, Bangladesh transfers more Rohingyas to remote islandRead moreIn its second series of relocations, Bangladesh on Monday moved up to 1,000 people from settlements in Cox’s Bazar, which make up the world’s largest refugee camp, to the isolated island in the Bay of Bengal. Two other refugees from Rohingya said they resisted taking the relocation photos because they were threatened and worried about their safety. Oh! U.N. In December, refugee chief Filippo Grandi also raised questions about whether the refugees were willingly resettled, as Bangladesh reported, after being charged with coercion. “UNHCR has been in contact with the authorities since Abul Kalam’s arrest on December 28 and is closely monitoring the situation to ensure that he receives a fair hearing on the charges against him,” he said. During the investigation and subsequent court hearings, UNHCR named one of its affiliate attorneys to represent him. “Abul Kalam received two awards earlier this month for his work in the Rohingya photo competition.


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