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Photographer arrested over Bangladesh student protests

08 August 2018

One protester told the rights group, however, that on Sunday several young men on motorcycles threatened about 500 mostly female students in the Uttara area of the capital, Dhaka. The students have a right to peaceful assembly and physical security.

"Shahidul Alam is a prisoner of conscience detained simply for peacefully expressing his views".

The protests looked to be fizzling out on Tuesday.

The Bangladeshi government has reportedly suspended 3G and 4G mobile internet services since last Saturday after more than a week of violent clashes between police and student protesters over road safety.

Protesters have also vandalized vehicles.

At the weekend, a heavy-handed response to the protests over road safety left more than 100 injured as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets, and mobs attacked demonstrators, photographers and even the United States ambassador's vehicle.

Another student, Ratul Abdullah, said four of his friends have been missing since yesterday.

A teacher of the Dhaka's Milestone School said: "We have resumed our classes today with normal student attendance".

"So far, there is no news of protests from any university", he said, adding that the authorities have shut down two universities in an effort to quell the protests.

The High Court in Bangladesh halted the seven-day remand of Dhaka-based photographer and activist Shahidul Alam on Tuesday. The high court on Tuesday scrapped a lower court order allowing police to interrogate him for seven days keeping him in their custody.

Alam's multimedia agency Drik had said on Monday that he had been "abducted" from his home in Dhaka the previous night, allegedly by officials from the city police's Detective Branch.

"Yet again, Bangladesh authorities seem determined to take abusive shortcuts to problems, and then denounce those who criticize", said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Activist and photographer Shahidul Alam gestures as he is removed from a vehicle by police for a court appearance, in Dhaka on August 6, 2018.

Aug 6, 2018-Nepali journalists have demanded an immediate release of famed Bangladeshi photographer and cultural activist Shahidul Alam from the detention of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

He also criticised the government during an interview with Al Jazeera.

"Unfortunately the image of the country has suffered, not because of what the students have done but because of the way the government has handled the issue".

Meanwhile, an alliance of left-leaning student organisations today announced demonstrations in all educational institutions across the country tomorrow in protest against attacks on students. Parliament's approval for the proposal to become law is seen as a formality, since Hasina's ruling Awami League has an overwhelming majority.

The recent movements for road safety by the school and college students mostly aged under 18 have received widespread appreciation and solidarity from the Bangladesh public. She said she was dragged to the side of the road and groped and that the men only let her go after she deleted the video she had taken, according to The Daily Star. She has blamed the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, and its main ally Jamaat-e-Islami for an attempt to manipulate student anger to foment trouble. The Cabinet also said deliberate road deaths would carry the death penalty. One of the bus drivers fled the scene, although both were later arrested.

After initially dismissing students' concerns, the government sought to mollify them, approving a draft law on Monday that would beef up the maximum penalty for accidents caused by reckless driving to five years' in prison, up from the current three. If I'm in jail, how they will survive?

If someone is killed deliberately, a defendant could receive capital punishment, the law says. We have our children, wife, our father and mother.

Photographer arrested over Bangladesh student protests