Nuestro Apoyo a la organización DRIK, a Shahidul Alam y a Jorge Villacorta
Escuelab y ATA quiere expresar su apoyo a nuestros amigos de DRIK en Bangladesh, debido a lo sucedido en los ultimos dias. Asimismo, mostramos nuestra especial preocupación por nuestro amigo Shahidul Alam, director de Drik, y a nuestro director Académico y presidente de ATA Jorge Villacorta, que en estos momentos se encuentran en Bangladesh.
Este pasado lunes 22 de Marzo a las 3pm, el gobierno de Bangladesh no permitió la inaguración de "Crossfire" (fuego cruzado), una muestra frotográfica sobre las matanzas extrajudiciales en las que el Batallón Especial de Bangladesh (el "RAB") es acusado de dichas muertes. La muestra ha sido curada por Jorge Villacorta.
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The question of permission is totally uncalled for. There are hundreds of photo exhibitions and other such functions of public viewing happening everyday in the capital city. Did their organisers have to seek permission in each case to be holding these? Drik itself has been organising such events since 1993. Never was any permission required or sought or demanded by any agency. Exhibitions such as these have educative, informational and instructive values. Free flow of ideas helps enrich intellectual wealth of the country, broadens its outlook and enhances the level of tolerance in a society of contrary or dissenting views. There may be a debate on an issue but it doesn't mean people on one side of an issue need not hear or refuse to see the other's point of view.
This is exactly the level of maturity we crave for and have actually reached in certain areas of national life which must not be allowed to be undone through any ham-handed act of indiscretion. If the police become the arbiter of what is right and what is wrong for our society, then God help us.
Let certain facts be made clear. Democracy entails a guarantee and preservation of the political and cultural rights of citizens. In such a setting, the sensitivities of certain individuals or groups or bodies cannot override the bigger demands of an open, liberal society which the present government espouses as policy. Now, if the police or any other agency is upset at a revelation of the sordid truth that 'crossfires' have been, they should be making sure that such extra-judicial killings do not recur. The fault lies not with Drik gallery that it organised the exhibition. It lies in the inability or reluctance of the authorities to dig into the question of why 'crossfire' killings are today a reprehensible affair. Besides, why must the authorities forget that by preventing what they think is adverse publicity for the country they are only making it more pronounced before the nation and the outside world?
We condemn the police action. And we would like the home minister to explain to citizens how such acts that clearly militate against the people's right to know and observe and interpret conditions can at all take place.