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Bangladesh photographer moved to hospital from jail

AFP  |  Dhaka 

An award-winning who accused police of assaulting him after his arrest at the height of major protests in has been taken to hospital, his wife said today.

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.

The high court on Tuesday ordered authorities to transfer Alam to hospital.

He had been remanded in custody by a lower court for breaching controversial laws on internet speech, but the remand order was suspended by a higher court.

Alam was accused of making "false" and "provocative" statements as tens of thousands of students protested in to demand improvements to road safety and an end to corruption.

He told reporters outside a magistrate's court on Monday that he had been beaten so badly in police custody that his tunic needed washing to get the blood out.

"He was shifted to hospital at around 8 this morning. He was walking by himself," his wife told AFP, adding that a medical board at Bangabandhu medical hospital would examine him.

Alam looked better than during his appearance in court when he seemed shaken and was limping, she added.

Alam's said police would not be allowed to question him in hospital but he remained in custody.

His arrest capped a turbulent week in as students poured onto the streets in and elsewhere after two teenagers were killed by a speeding bus.

The rallies lasted nine days, with demonstrations at the weekend and Monday turning violent with more than 150 people injured.

Police fired tear gas and at protesters and mobs allegedly aligned with the government attacked demonstrators, journalists and even the US ambassador's car.

Alam founded the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, a photography school in Dhaka that spawned hundreds of photographers. He shot images of the demonstrations and discussed the protests on Live.

New York-based demanded his release, denouncing authorities for targeting activists and journalists instead of prosecuting those responsible for unlawfully attacking student protesters.

The protests seemed to have fizzled out on Tuesday, with students telling AFP they feared further government repression if the demonstrations continued.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, August 08 2018. 15:20 IST