The investigative journalist was arrested in a case under the Official Secrets Act on Monday night
Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) have urged the government to immediately release Prothom Alo Senior Correspondent Rozina Islam.
A Dhaka court on Tuesday sent journalist Rozina Islam to judicial custody after rejecting the police’s demand for her five-day remand.
She was arrested in a case under the Official Secrets Act on Monday night.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Jashim passed the order after Inspector Arifur Rahman Sardar, the investigation officer in the case, produced the 42-year-old in the court in court.
The court also fixed May 20 for hearing Islam’s bail petition.
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 the Health Services Division between 3pm and 3:30pm “without permission.”
Islam was handed over to police around 9:45pm after being held at the Secretariat for over five hours.
Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh
DCAB has strongly condemned the confinement of the Daily Prothom Alo journalist for over five hours in a room at the Secretariat and subsequent harassment.
In a statement on Tuesday, DCAB President Pantho Rahaman and its General Secretary AKM Moinuddin termed the incident an unacceptable attempt to intimidate media workers; and demanded a fair and transparent investigation into the whole incident that took place on Monday.
DCAB demanded Rozina Islam's quick release and urged the government to take appropriate actions against those who harassed her at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
DCAB said it believes that the government will continue allowing media workers to perform their duties without any fear and intimidation ensuring safety and dignity of the profession.
DCAB urged the authorities concerned to take steps for her treatment, if required.
Dhaka Union of Journalists
The Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) also announced to hold a human chain protest on Thursday morning in front of the National Press Club on the same issue. They will also give a memorandum to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan the same day.
DUJ also warned of intensifying their movements if Rozina Islam is not released immediately.
The union issued a statement on Tuesday signed by its President Kuddus Afrad and General Secretary Sajjad Alam Khan Tapu over the matter.
In the statement, DUJ demanded proper investigation into the harassment of Rozina Islam at the secretariat.
They also condemned the colonial-era Official Secrets Act and identified it as a threat to investigative reporting.