Dearest Arundhati Roy: Shahidul Alam reflects on his time in prison
Publisher: Europe Solidiare Sans Frontières
Date Written: 14/01/2019
Year Published: 2019
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX23214
The Bangladeshi photographer was charged with criticising his country on Facebook and spent more than 100 days behind bars. Now freed, he replies to the Indian novelist who wrote to him in jail.
It was here in Keraniganj that I met Badal Farazi, wrongfully charged by Indian courts, and eventually sent to Bangladesh. Ten years in jail for a crime the courts knew he could not have committed. My government too scared to speak against this Indian injustice. Too scared to upset the big brother. Keraniganj was where terrorist Tofael Ahmed Joseph had been. Released through a presidential pardon, whisked away in the middle of the night and sent overseas. In my case, it had taken six attempts before bail had finally been granted. They had tried to block my bail just as they had tried to stop me from sleeping on a bed or getting access to a doctor. Even after bail was granted, they had tried to prevent my release. But we triumphed in the end, and we held hands and sang songs as I left the jail gate. The case still hangs over my head and the threat of bail being withdrawn is the threat they hope will silence my tongue, my pen and my camera. But the ink in our pens still runs. The keyboards still clatter.