• Thursday, Jan 20, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Police seek 5-day remand for journo Rozina Islam

  • Published at 11:06 am May 18th, 2021
Rozina Islam
Rozina Islam fell sick after being held confined for five hours inside the Bangladesh Secretariat reportedly by Health Ministry officials on Monday, May 17, 2021 Collected

The journalist was taken to Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court from Shahbagh police station on Tuesday morning

Police have sought a five-day remand for Rozina Islam, a senior correspondent of the Bengali newspaper Prothom Alo, in a case filed under Bangladesh Penal Code and Official Secrets Act.

Shahbagh police station Inspector Arifur Rahman Sardar sought the remand after producing Rozina Islam before Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court around 8am on Tuesday.

The journalist’s lawyer Proshanto Kumar Karmakar confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.

Also read - Prothom Alo journo Rozina Islam arrested in Official Secrets Act case

Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Jashim will hear the remand prayer in presence of Rozina, who was produced at the prison cell at 8:30am.

Rozina was arrested for allegedly attempting to illegally “collect sensitive government documents and taking photos of them” from the Secretariat on Monday.

The Prothom Alo journalist has rejected all the allegations. "I was, in fact, harassed at the Secretariat," she claimed immediately after her arrest.

An FIR was filed against Rozina under the Official Secrets Act and sections 379 and 411 of The Penal Code on a complaint filed by the Health Services Division at Shahbagh police station, said Harun ur Rashid, additional deputy commissioner (Ramna Division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

Also read - Rozina's family to file case against officials who harassed her

Rozina was handed over to police around 9.45pm on Monday after being held at the Secretariat for over five hours.

Maidul Islam Pradhan, senior information officer at the Health Ministry, claimed that she had entered the room of the Private Secretary to the Secretary of Health Services Division between 3pm and 3.30pm “without permission”.

“She took photos of sensitive documents. Some of those were recovered from her by the staff of the Health Ministry, including the PS, Additional Secretary of the Ministry and police constable Mizanur Rahman,” he claimed.

Health Secretary Lokman Hossain has refused to comment on the matter.

Journalists' protest

Dozens of journalists thronged the police station after Rozina was brought there and staged a protest against her harassment on Monday night.

Jatiya Press Club President Farida Yasmin wrote on her verified Facebook page that Rozina had fallen sick. She also demanded proper treatment of the journalist.

Also read - Journalists boycott Health Ministry briefing on Rozina

Elias Khan, Secretary of the apex journalist organization, also condemned the alleged misbehaviour of government employees at the Secretariat with the on-duty journalist.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International South Asia chapter and Committee to Protect Journalists have also condemned the incident and demanded that the journalist be freed immediately.

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