Journalist Rozina Islam’s bail hearing ends...

Dhaka, Wednesday   28 July 2021

Journalist Rozina Islam’s bail hearing ends

 Staff Correspondent

 Published: 02:52 PM, 20 May 2021   Updated: 02:53 PM, 20 May 2021

Rozina Islam, File Photo

Rozina Islam, File Photo

The bail hearing of Journalist Rozina Islam in a case filed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare under the Official Secrets Act and Penal Code has ended.

The hearing was held at the virtual court of Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Baki Billah on Thursday.

On the day, Rozina Islam’s lawyer Ehsanul Haque Samaji and Prashant Kumar Karmakar and other lawyers appeared for her in the court. The state, on the other hand, opposed the bail petition. After hearing both the parties, the court will give the order later.

“The court had heard us. The verdict will be given later after reviewing,” said Rozina’s lawyer Prashant Kumar Karmakar, hoping that the court will give the verdict today.

Earlier on Tuesday, Shahbagh Police Station Inspector (Investigation) Arifur Rahman Sardar, the investigating officer of the case, appealed for a five-day remand to Rozina in the interest of proper investigation of the case. At that time, Rozina’s lawyer appealed for bail. The court then dismissed the remand petition and fixed Thursday for the bail hearing.

The case details say Rozina Islam hid important office documents and took pictures of sensitive information related to Covid-19 vaccines at the Health Services Division in the Secretariat. Later, the officials challenged her and recovered the documents.  

According to the case, Rozina Islam entered the office of the private secretary of the health services department, hid important office documents in different parts of the body and took pictures through her mobile phone. At that time, female police personnel of Shahbagh Police Station led by the Additional Commissioner of Police in charge of security of the Secretariat came to the spot and took her into custody.

The ministry’s written complaint further said that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was recently signed with various countries, including China and Russia, for the coronavirus vaccine – which is very sensitive and important. But if these issues come to the fore, then Bangladesh’s relations with those countries are being threatened.

Later, Senior Reporter Rozina Islam was detained for about five-and-a-half hours in the office of a Health Services Division official at the Secretariat in the capital on Monday on charges of “attempting to steal” secrets of the state document. 

Later in the night, she was handed over to Shahbagh Police Station and the Health Services Division filed a case under various sections of the Official Secrets Act and Penal Code of the British period.

The investigation into the case against Rozina was handed over to the Detective Branch (DB) of the police on Wednesday amid ongoing protests and movement. Now the Dhaka Metropolitan Detective Branch will investigate the case. The court has fixed July 15 for the submission of the investigation report in the case.

It is worth to be mentioned that the journalists across the country are protesting against the arrest of Rozina Islam since Monday night. The journalist community is also protesting today, demanding her release.