#FreeShahidulAlam ~ On behalf of the Prince Claus Fund, its director Joumana El Zein Khoury has send out a request for help and solidarity.

| tag: Amsterdam

Dear friends,

Our long-time partner, advisor and friend Shahidul Alam was arrested in Bangladesh earlier this week and is still in custody.

Shahidul has never shied away from what is right. His dedication to his community, to the youth of Bangladesh, to the art of photography, and to journalistic principles has not wavered, in spite of great risk to himself.

This is not the first time he has been in danger, but the severity of the current situation compels us to request your help. Please consider sharing on social media, signing a petition or contacting the Bangladesh High Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We are proud to have partnered with Shahidul since 2002. His knowledge, insights, and warmth have guided our work and remain an inspiration to us. Shahidul embodies what we as an organisation stand for. Please find our statement below, signed together with his fellow Network Partners.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about his work and support him.

Kindly yours,

Joumana El Zein Khoury, Director Prince Claus Fund



Dr. Shahidul Alam, internationally renowned photographer, activist, founder and Managing Director of the Bangladesh multimedia company, Drik, founder of Chobi Mela International Photography Festival and Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, was forcibly abducted from his home on the night of 5 August.

The next day he appeared in court, apparently so badly beaten that he was unable to walk on his own. Sources say Shahidul is being charged under Bangladesh’s ICT law for his reports on Facebook of ongoing student protests and for an interview he gave to Al Jazeera about the protests.

Shahidul has been a close friend and inspiring partner of the Prince Claus Fund for many years. He is a tireless advocate of values that we share:  that all people should have the right to freedom of cultural expression. Through his reporting and photography he has discovered and shared hidden human stories not only in Bangladesh but of the many other cultures encountered on his travels. 

The Prince Claus Fund and its Network Partners deplore the extreme violence and intimidation exercised in Shahidul’s arrest

We call for his immediate and unconditional release. 

On behalf of the Prince Claus Fund, Joumana El Zein Khoury, Director

Network Partners of the Prince Claus Fund:

Alliance des Editeurs Independants – IAIP, international

Alta Tecnologia Andina, Peru

Arab Image Foundation, Lebanon

Archi Africa, Ghana + Africa

Arthub Asia

Associación Pro Arte y Cultura (APAC), Bolivia

BizArt Art Center, China

Caribbean Contemporary Art (CCA)

Cinematheque de Tanger, Marocco

Compagnie Falinga, Burkina Faso

Creating Independent and Artistic Networks, Argentina (CRIA)

Despina Non-Profit Cultural Association, Brazil

Dokufest – International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kosovo

Dox Box, Syria

Drik Picture Library Ltd., Bangladesh

Hri Institute, Nepal

Jant-Bi, Senegal

Kibii Foundation, Surinam

Land Art Mongolia

Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA), Kenya

Museo d Antioquia, Colombia

Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art (T.I.C.A.), Albania

Redsea Cultural Foundation, Somaliland

Reyum Institute of Arts and Culture, Cambodia

San Art, Vietnam

Studios Kabako, Democratic Republic of Congo

Supersudaca, Latin America

Triangle Arts Trust (TAT), UK

University Centre for Arts and Drama, Ingoma Nshya, Rwanda

Utan Kayu Network, Indonesia

VideoBrazil, Brazil

Visual Culture Research Centre – VCRC, Ukraine

Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIF), Tanzania

Zoe Butt, Vietnam