Celebrities condemn harassment and arrest of Rozina Islam

The whole country has become vocal in protest of harassment and detention of journalist Rozina Islam. From directors to actors, from composers to singers, everyone strongly criticised the incident.

Celebrities have also condemned the arrest of Rozina Islam on social mediaCollage: Prothom Alo
Composer and music director Prince Mahmud

Celebrities on the social media have also condemned the harassment and confinement of Rozina Islam.

From directors to actors, from composers to singers, everyone strongly criticised the incident in their Facebook pages.

Composer and music director Prince Mahmud wrote, “Tigress, I do not want your release at the moment. You are the occasion. Through you, the corrupt ministers and bureaucrats of the health sector would be destroyed.”

He finished the post with some lines from Rabindra sangeet.

He further wrote addressing Rozina, “Keep your head up and sing loudly ‘Tomar bandho gharer bandhonite korchho bishwagrash, ar trash dekhiyei korbe bhabchho bidhir Shakti hrash. Shei bhoy-dekhano bhuter mora korbo sharbanash’.”

Actress Jaya Ahsan

Popular actress Jaya Ahsan wrote, “Rozina went there for professional purposes, not for burglary. I saw that she fell onto the floor. This is our behaviour! This is our civic sense! Those fingers pressing Rozina seem like a symbol carrying a deep meaning. It seems that those fingers are not on the neck of any person, but on freedom of speech in Bangladesh. We have to see such an evil event in the golden jubilee of independence? I demand Rozina’s return to her family immediately.”

Television and film director Khijir Hayat Khan wrote, “Bangladesh, whom do you belong to? Dear state, I condemn you today for harassing such a courageous journalist. The burden of this shame is on all of us as we forget to register protests now-a-days.”

Playwright Masum Reza wrote, “That additional secretary has suppressed the voice of the nation and freedom. I want Rozina’s bail first.”

Actor Chanchal Chowdhury wrote, “The habit of wearing masks should prevail. But, let’s remove the real mask and protest against injustice. Let’s chant with a bold voice, ‘We demand the release of Rozina Islam'.”

Chanchal Chowdhury
Collected from Facebook

Actress Tanvin Sweety stated, “I strongly condemn the harassment and confinement of investigative journalist Rozina Islam. I want the end of corruption.”

Belayet Hossain, leader of “chalachchitra sangsad” movement, wrote on social media, “The handcuffs were supposed to be in the hands of the rogue bureaucrats and government employees. However, it is not possible in this era of politics dependent on bureaucrats. The country is passing through a critical time. The country is in crisis now.”

Actress Tanvin Sweety
Film director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki
Prothom Alo

Film director Mostofa Sarwar Farooki wrote, “There was an instance of hooliganism in yesterday’s incident. The journalist community should become vocal to bring those responsible for the incident to book. For the next one month, journalists should report even more than before on the irregularities and discrepancies in the health ministry. It would be a good answer for the corrupt persons.”

Ashfaque Nipun

Director Ashfaque Nipun posted, “People who are saying and will say that 'the bureaucrats are ruining the country', the bureaucrats run the country', will brand them frauds for sure!"

Nobody mentions theirs name at the time of development. Nobody says that the bureaucrats run the country when flyovers and metro rails are being constructed. Nobody says bureaucrats run the country when the country graduates from a least developed country to a middle income country. If the bureaucrats run the country, what is the duty of the elected people’s representatives? Are they the servants of the bureaucrats?”

Actress Shahnaz Khushi wrote, “Are they more powerful than the government? I feel sick thinking about it. Rozina apa, we are sorry and ashamed. I condemn this incident. I strongly demand unconditional release of Rozina and a proper investigation and trial over the incident.”

Screenshot of the Facebook post by actress Shahnaz Khushi

Singer Belal Khan wrote, “I request the government to 'give Rozina an exemplary punishment' so that nobody would dare to report about the discrepancies in future. The court has rejected the bail plea of Rozina and sent her to jail. So is the reward for honest, brave and investigative reporting in the country.”

Singer Belal Khan

Reciting a line from Rabidranath Tagore’s poems, film director Dipnakar Dipan wrote, “Rabindranath wrote a long time ago, “Indeed, he is the saint now and I am the thief.”

Singer Konal said, “My mother said the pens of people like Rozina never stop! Joy Bangla!”

Actor Shazu Khadem wrote, “Freedom of the press is the primary condition of a state, whoever is obstructing this is ruining the image of the government in the process. I demand unconditional release of journalist Rozina Islam.”

Bijori Barkatullah

Actress Bijori Barkatullah wrote, “I strongly condemn the harassment and detention of investigative journalist Rozina Islam. I want the end of corruption.”

Apart from them, television personality Abdun Noor Tushar, film director Amitabh Reza Chowdhury, Redwan Rony, Abu Shahed Emon, Dipu Hazra, Raihan Jewel, actress Aruna Bishwam, Meher Afroz Shaon, Bhabna, Emon, Moutushi Biswas, Saiful Raj, Rashed Mamun Apu, Khairul Basar, Imtiaz Barshan, singer Elita Karim and Muhin also protested against the incident.

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

Earlier, Rozina Islam went to the health ministry in the secretariat on professional purposes. The officials of the ministry detained her in a room around 3.00 pm. At one point Rozina fell sick.

Later, around 8.30pm, the senior journalist was handed over to Shahbagh police station around 9.00 pm.

Around 11.45 pm police said a case had been filed against Rozina Islam under the Official Secrets Act. She had been shown arrested in this case.

After being kept at the police station all night, she was taken to a Dhaka court on Tuesday morning. Later, the court sent her to jail.