A well-known Bangladeshi photographer has spoken out to insist he is the victim of “unwanted cruelty” after he was sacked and had violent force used against him, for taking a picture of a couple kissing. The image has been heavily condemned in the conservative Muslim-majority country and caused a social media backlash.
The news outlet at which photographer Jibon Ahmed worked – entitled The Purboposhchimbd – declared him as “not fit to work” after doubts emerged over whether or not the kiss was staged.
Taking to Facebook, Ahmed has now written a post in which he detailed his experience since posting the photo, saying that one person had even “slapped” him while confronting him over the picture. Taken on the campus of the Dhaka University, Ahmed captioned it with the words “Songs of rains — let love be free.” The photo was also run by the news site.
It is being debated as to whether the image has violated Bangladesh’s public decency laws, and some questioned whether the photographer had permission from the couple.
Purboposhchimbd later published a further article to clarify that the image was “pre-planned,” and that Ahmed apologised. They also addressed the violent attacks, advising him to seek legal action, but observing that Ahmed had not showed up to the planned meeting to discuss the matter. The editor can be quoted as saying that due to staging the photo with “models,” Ahmed is unfit to work for the news site.
Lead image: Ibrahim Asad from Pexels