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THE FACEBOOK POST THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR SHAHNEWAZ. 

Shahnewaz dared to speak out about the devastating impacts of climate change on his village in Bangladesh.

Growing up in a coastal village in the Banshkhali District - a low-lying area that is vulnerable to extreme weather events - Shahnewaz saw the impacts of climate change first-hand.

He grew up experiencing regular, catastrophic cyclones and tidal waves that would destroy homes, and claim lives. In May 2021, Shahnewaz took to Facebook to raise his concerns about a new coal-fired power plant that was due to be established in his community. Worried about its impact on the environment, he encouraged young people to speak out against the power plant.

The following day, the power plant company filed a case against Shahnewaz, accusing him of posting false information. Three days later, he was arrested by police under Bangladesh’s oppressive Digital Security Act. He was detained in inhumane conditions for 80 days, before being released on bail. Now, he faces up to 10 years in prison if his trial results in conviction. 

“I felt like I was being buried alive. I did not know how my family was doing, my family did not know how I was spending my days in prison. It was suffocating. I was deprived of all care and affection”

- Shahnewaz Chowdhury, 
Bangladeshi Engineer and Activist awaiting trial.

Shahnewaz has been released on bail as he awaits his trial. If convicted, he faces many more years in prison in abysmal conditions. Your urgent gift today will help protect the voices and lives of people like Shahnewaz, as they continue to fearlessly stand up for a more just future for all.

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Amnesty International activists