Bail hearing of journalist Rozina today

Prothom Alo’s senior reporter Rozina Islam inside a prison van on 18 May 2021Sajid Hossain

The bail hearing of Prothom Alo’s senior reporter Rozina Islam in a case filed by the health ministry will be held today (Thursday). The virtual bail hearing will be held at the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Dhaka.

The case filed under the Official Secrets Act and the Penal Code has been transferred to Detective Branch (DB) of police.

Deputy commissioner of DB’s Ramna HM Azimul Haque told Prothom Alo on Wednesday afternoon that they were given responsibilities to investigate into the case. They will take the documents from Shahbagh police station.

The case was filed against Rozina with Shahbagh police station on Monday night. Health services division deputy secretary Md Shibbir Ahmed Osmani filed the lawsuit.

Earlier, on Tuesday, police shown arrested Rozina Islam in the case and sought five-day remand producing her before the court while Rozina’s lawyers plead for her bail.

Metropolitan magistrate Mohammad Jashim turned down the remand plea and set 20 May as the date for holding hearing on her bail. The court sent the senior journalist to jail.

Rozina’s lawyer Ehsanul Haque Somaji on Wednesday told Prothom Alo that the law minister has ensured that Rozina will get justice.

He also said the lawsuit has been filed under two acts that are contradictory.

Rozina Islam, an investigative journalist, went to the health ministry on Monday to carry out her profession duties. She was kept there confined for over five hours and harassed. At one point she fell ill. At around 8:30 pm, police took her to the Shahbagh police station. At 11:45 pm they said that a case had been filed against her under the Official Secrets Act.

The incident of harassment and arrest of Rozina Islam has created uproar in the country and abroad.

United Nations has expressed concerns regarding the harassment and arrest of Rozina Islam. The global body has also said that they are looking at it.

Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, said this in response to a question during a regular media briefing on Tuesday.