when the dust clears

Words about and images of matters political, social, and military

In-person death threat in Dhaka

with 2 comments

Three days ago, a man delivered a death threat to Dr. Shahidul Alam after walking into the Drik Gallery in Dhaka.

“An unidentified young man stormed into the Drik Gallery on March 27 (Saturday) morning and rudely asked the security guard about Shahidul Alam,” the newspaper New Age reported. “But when the security guard inquired about the identity of the man, the young man refused to give his identity and told the guard that Alam would meet his death in the street.”

Here’s the full story from New Age, Bangladesh’s independent English-language newspaper. (Scroll down for item.)

See also the transcript of the conversation, captured on video:

Dr. Alam’s photography show, CROSSFIRE, featuring photos evocative of the sites where the paramilitary Rapid Action Battalion killed citizens under suspicious circumstances, was closed eight days ago by the government. RAB has been implicated in numerous extrajudicial killings.

Recent threats have also been made against Nurul Kabir, Editor of New Age. Both Kabir and Alam have been consistent critics of the abuses of power by and corruption in government and among elites in Bangladesh.

This recent death threat is to be taken seriously: In 1996, unknown assailants stabbed Alam on the street. At the time, the military was rounding up activists in advance of a parliamentary election, Alam told me in 2008. Many human rights groups were afraid to take a stand publicly, “so the seat of resistance became this gallery here. Two days later, I was stopped in the street. Eight knives were put into me.”

History must not repeat. Please spread the word to the human rights and freedom-of-the-press groups of your choice. Make sure to Tweet, too.

Here’s a New York Times preview of the exhibition by David Gonzalez plus follow-up on the exhibition’s shutdown.

And a link to Drik itself.



Written by bxpnyc

2010/03/30 at 09:09

2 Responses

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  1. In solidarity.

    Suvendu Chatterjee

    2010/03/30 at 15:23

    • will circulate the news. hope that will support

      arianna rinaldo

      2010/03/31 at 21:47

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