Weekly Polls

Here is the third Poll:
Saudi Arabian law does not recognise religious freedom, and the public practice of non-Muslim religions is actively prohibited. No law specifically requires citizens to be Muslims, but article 12.4 of the Naturalisation Law requires that applicants attest to their religious affiliation, and article 14.1 requires that applicants to get a certificate endorsed by their local cleric. Saudi Arabia, a member of the UN’s Human Rights Council and a close US ally, is hiring more executioners, according to its Ministry of Civil Service website.
With 85 people already executed this year alone, Saudi Arabia is recruiting eight more executioners to fulfil positions that require carrying out beheadings, as well as performing amputations on those who committed smaller offences, according to a report from Reuters
Is the inclusion of Saudi Arabia in the Current Membership of the Human Rights Council, 1 January – 31 December 2015 justified?


Here is the second Poll:
While theoretically there is a separation between the judiciary and the executive, there are many who feel the judiciary is unduly influenced by the party in power. The recent increase in the number of contempt of court cases has also raised doubts in people?s minds about whether the primary motive of the judiciary is to implement justice, or whether it is to protect the image of the government. The Bangladesh judiciary has had a long tradition of resisting autocratic rule and has in the past taken landmark decisions that have gone against the ruling party. Is that still the case? Tell us what you think and get others to voice their opinion. It is only through occupying the public space that we can bring about a government and an establishment that is truly representative of our interests


With politicians on either side claiming they are the legitimate voice of the people, and with corporate spin dominating news, I thought it would be useful to create a voice for citizens. This is a series of weekly polls that I’ll be conducting from now on. While it will be completely transparent, there is no guarantee that it will not be tampered with or hijacked. The only way we can reduce this is by our active participation. So let your voice be heard. Please send me your suggestions for future polls. They can be on any topic that you consider to be in the public interest.
Here is the first Poll:

Please feel free to provide further information or comment:

Public talk at National Geographic

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When the lions find their storytellers: A public talk by Dr Shahidul Alam
October 4th, 6 p.m.
National Geographic Store
83-97 Regent Street
London
Internationally renowned Bangladeshi photographer, writer, curator and teacher Dr Shahidul Alam, will lead a free public talk at the National Geographic Store next week.
During the 40 minute talk Dr Alam, a National Geographic juror and photographer, will discuss his 30 year career in documentary photography, as well as his role as one of the most respected photography educators in the world.
Dr Alam?s work in establishing networks for photography and media professionals in his native Bangladesh has opened up the medium to an entirely new generation of artists. As a result, Bangladesh now has the highest number of documentary photographers in the world, some of whom, thanks to his efforts, are becoming internationally acclaimed. Alam founded the award-winning Drik Picture Library (www.drik.net) in 1989; the Bangladesh Photographic Institute in 1990; Pathshala, the South Asian Institute of Photography – considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world – (www.pathshala.net) and ?Chobi Mela? (www.chobimela.org), a biennial international festival of photography, which is held in the capital, Dhaka. Alam’s most recent project is the founding of Majority World, a photo agency dedicated to providing a platform for non-Western photographers.
A jury member of numerous competitions including World Press Photo, for which he has been a judge on four occasions and recently the first non-Western person to chair the international jury, Alam was also the first Asian recipient of the prestigious Mother Jones Award for Documentary Photography. His work has been exhibited internationally, including: the MOMA, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Royal Albert Hall, London; and The Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran.
Dr Alam’s week-long visit to the UK is a result of his first retrospective photography exhibition at the Wilmotte Gallery at Lichfield Studios (http://www.tristanhoare.co.uk/) from 5th October -18 November, and the release of his forthcoming book, SHAHIDUL ALAM: My Journey as a Witness, published by Skira, Milan, and edited by Rosa Maria Falvo. The book will be launched at the Grand Hyatt Churchill Hotel in London at 5.30 pm.