Salil Tripathi is the author of The Colonel Who Would Not Repent: The Bangladesh War and Its Unquiet Legacy (2016) and two other books. He chairs PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee. He is writing a book about Gujaratis. (August 2018)

Follow Salil Tripathi on Twitter: @saliltripathi.


Bangladesh’s Authoritarian Turn

Photojournalist Shahidul Alam arriving for a court appearance following his arrest after a student protest, Dhaka, August 6, 2018

The renowned photojournalist Shahidul Alam is supposed to be in New York on October 28 to receive a humanitarian award from the Lucie Foundation, which honors photographers every year. There is no guarantee, however, that Alam will be able to attend the ceremony. Late on August 5, plainclothes security officers raided Alam’s home in Dhaka and arrested him. Hours earlier, Alam had given an interview to the Al-Jazeera network in which he had criticized the government crackdown on students who were protesting against worsening road safety. When he was taken to court the next day, Alam was limping. He shouted to journalists that he had been beaten up in custody: “My bloodstained shirt was washed and put back on me.”