Journalist arrested in bangladesh

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Woman journalist arrested in Bangladesh….revolt and protests all around…learn more…

Arrest of investigative reporter Rozina Islam for writing against the government’s response to coronavirus, sparks protests

Wednesday, 19th May 2021

Female investigative journalist from Bangladesh, Rozina Islam got arrested after writing scathing columns on the country’s handling of the pandemic situation. The incident sparked off protests across the nation by hundreds of reporters who stormed their way to the Dhaka police station, where she has been taken.

An investigative reporter for the country’s largest circulated newspaper, Prothom Alo, Rozina was detained under the Official Secrets Act late on Monday according to the police.

The 42-year old Rozina, known for her blistering writing about the government’s corruption, was charged with stealing documents from the health ministry under the act and was made to appear in court on Tuesday. She has been given a new date of hearing for Thursday. If convicted, she faces a sentence of up to 14 years in jail and even the death penalty.

Before she was formally detained, Rozina had spent around 5 hours at the office of the health ministry, who then filed a complaint accusing her of stealing documents.

The Committee to Protect Journalists has demanded an immediate release of the journalist.

Aliya Iftikhar, CPJ’s senior Asia researcher said in a statement, “We are deeply alarmed that Bangladesh officials detained a journalist and filed a complaint under a draconian colonial-era law that carries ridiculously harsh penalties.”

“Bangladesh police and authorities should recognise that Rozina Islam is a journalist whose work is a public service and should immediately drop the case against her and allow her to go free.”

Several outraged journalists from across the country along with leaders of journalist unions and advocacy groups spoke up condemning the step by the authorities and said this was a backlash on their part as a consequence of the reports Rozina wrote about the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rozina had written stories about how critical medical equipment had been lying abandoned at the Dhaka airport for months on end, bribed that were being offered to recruit doctors and a corrupted system of procurement at the health ministry.

Demanding Rozina’s immediate release, the Law and Mediation Centre Group said, ““Her reports have clearly exposed the weaknesses of the ministry to safeguard the health rights of the people during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Although, Bangladesh has reported only about 12,000 deaths due to Covid-19 and nearly 800,000 cases, experts state these figures are blatantly under-reported.

The News Talkie Bureau



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