A Dhaka court on Thursday set Sunday for passing an order on the bail petition of Prothom Alo Senior Reporter Rozina Islam in a case filed under the Official Secrets Act, 1923 and sections 379 and 411 of the Penal Code.
After virtual hearing and evaluating all relevant documents, Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Baki Billah passed the order in the case.The court also allowed prosecution to submit important and relevant documents relating to the case on Sunday following a plea.
The prosecution submitted the petition, seeking to delay the bail hearing for one week so they could submit a video that surfaced last night as evidence for perusal by the court.
Rozina Islam was kept confined and allegedly harassed in a room of the Health Ministry for more than five hours before being handed over to police on May 17.
She was later sued by the ministry 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.
But Rozina’s family members and colleagues alleged that she was implicated in the case as her reports revealed corruption and irregularities of some officials of the health ministry.
Later, a Dhaka court on Tuesday sent Rozina Islam to jail after rejecting the police’s demand for her five-day remand. She was taken to Kashimpur Central Women’s Jail on that day only.The Health Ministry has formed a three-member probe committee to look into the allegations of the journalist’s detention at the Secretariat and also her subsequent handover to the police.
Meanwhile, the case filed against the journalist was transferred to the Detective Branch (DB) of police on Wednesday for investigation.
Various organizations, including national and international human rights bodies, journalists’ organisations and political parties, condemned the incident, demanding her immediate release and probe into the 'harassment’ she faced.