The High Court on Thursday asked the authorities concerned to examine as per section 2 (6) of the Torture and Custodial Death Prevention Act, 2013 whether Drik Gallery Managing Director Shahidul Alam, now on a seven-day remand, was tortured physically and mentally.
An HC bench of Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir passed the order after hearing a writ petition.
The HC asked the Home Secretary to submit a report within Monday to the relevant trial court.
Barrister Sara Hossain who argued for Shahidul said the report of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on the medical checkup of noted photographer mentioned that his physical condition is sound. “But nothing is mentioned about his mental health.”
She also said the lower court order placing Shahidul Alam on remand was not in line with the guideline of the High Court.
The section 2 (6) of the act stipulates : “Torture means any physical or psychological torture that hurts, in addition to following acts a) Extorting any information or confession from the person or any other person; b) Punishing any suspected person or any offender; c) Intimidating any person or any other person through him; d) Any work done on a discriminatory basis, in each case, act done with someone’s provocation, with someone’s consent or by dint of the power of any government officer or government power.”
The High Court on Tuesday asked the authorities concerned to send Shahidul Alam to BSMMU for his treatment and also asked the relevant authorities to form a medical board to examine his health and submit a report on his health condition on Thursday.
In compliance with the order, the BSMMU authorities placed a report before it on Thursday.
On Sunday night, detectives detained Shahidul Alam, also Chairman of Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, from his Dhanmondi residence following his Facebook posts on the student protests demanding road safety.
On Monday, he was shown arrested in a case filed under Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act accusing him of spreading propaganda and false information through social media and electronic media.
Dhaka Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Asaduzzaman Nur placed Shahidul Alam on a seven-day remand for interrogation in a case filed under the ICT Act on the day.