The journalist's husband says the officials harassed her physically during the confinement
The family of Prothom Alo Senior Correspondent Rozina Islam, who was arrested in an Official Secrets Act case, has pledged to file a case against the officials who harassed her at the Secretariat on Monday.
Her spouse Monirul Islam Mithu told Dhaka Tribune that they would file a counter case after her bail hearing on Thursday.
“We have a nine-year-old daughter who always spends time with her mother. She is getting lonely now as her mother is in jail without having done anything illegal,” Mithu said.
“My expectations fully depend on the journalist community. Such an incident will create a crisis for the existence of the whole journalist community. I will respectfully accept what the journalist community decides to demand from the authorities,” he added.
Also read - Police seek 5-day remand for journo Rozina Islam
“Rozina was assaulted and tortured and everyone saw the video footage of the incident,” Mithu told journalists on the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court premises on Tuesday.
“They [Health Ministry officials] harassed her physically. Her skin was scarred, and she also sustained bruises,” he further added.
“They pushed her down and tried to strangle her. While snatching her bag, they twisted her arm. She had a lot of things in her bag. They threw away the cash. Four persons, including a woman, were among those who attacked Rozina,” Mithu alleged.
The investigative journalist Islam was confined at the Secretariat office of Md Saiful Islam Bhuiyan, the personal secretary to Health Services Secretary Lokman Hossain Miah, for five hours on Monday.
She was then taken to Shahbagh Police Station around 8:30pm the same day, where Deputy Secretary of Health Services Shibbir Ahmed filed a case against the journalist under the Official Secrets Act.
After Islam fell sick at the Secretariat, police wished to take her to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) on Monday night, but her family wanted to take her to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital fearing Covid-19.
“As Rozina is suffering from multiple diseases and takes 14 different medicines, I have raised objections against taking her to DMCH, as the facility is packed with Covid-19 patients. Rozina will face a worse situation if she catches the deadly disease,” Mithu told the journalists.
On Tuesday morning, Rozina was taken to the court from Shahbagh police station around 8am. Police have sought five-day remand, but court rejected the remand plea and sent her to jail.