Shahidul Alam
Renowned Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam, 63, gestures in a hospital in Dhaka on August 8, 2018. - An award-winning photographer who accused Bangladesh officers of assaulting him after his arrest during major protests in Dhaka was back in police custody after a medical checkup, an official said on August 8. Shahidul Alam, 63, was detained by plainclothes police at his home Sunday after giving an interview to Al Jazeera about the student demonstrations, an arrest which drew condemnation from international rights groups.AFP/Getty Images

A court in Dhaka on Tuesday, September 11, denied bail to renowned Bangladeshi photographer and social activist Shahidul Alam who was arrested following his criticism of the government in an interview.

Judge K M Imrul Kayes of Dhaka Metropolitan Session Judge's Court passed the order after hearing the bail petition filed on August 14, reported.

Public Prosecutor Mohammad Abu Abdullah moved against the bail petition while Barrister Sarah Hossain stood for Alam.

The High Court on Monday, September 10, directed the lower court to dispose of the petition filed by Alam. He had filed a bail petition with the High Court on August 28 through his lawyers Sara Hossain and Jyotirmoy Barua saying he should be granted bail as he was ill.

Earlier on September 4, a judge of a two-member High Court bench said that they felt "embarrassed" to hear the bail petition in the case. The bench then forwarded the petition to the Chief Justice for a decision, the report said.

On September 5, the High Court directed the concerned authorities to provide first-class division to the photographer in jail after hearing the writ petition.

The police arrested Alam, founder of the Drik Gallery, Pathshala and the South-Asian Media Institute, on August 5, over charges of spreading rumours during a campaign for safer roads by students in Dhaka. He gave an interview to a news channel in which he criticised the government's violent response to a peaceful protest by students. Later, the police filed a case under the Information and Communication Technology Act against Alam.

Nobel laureates Desmond Tutu, Muhammad Yunus, Amartya Sen, and many others at home and abroad have demanded Alam's release, saying the government was hindering the freedom of speech.

The government, on the other hand, said Alam had "hatched a conspiracy to use the children campaigning for safer roads to create unrest in the country".