The Khulna correspondent was granted bail till January 14
Hedait Hossain Molla, the Dhaka Tribune journalist who was arrested on Tuesday under the Digital Security Act 2018, has been released on interim bail.
Khulna District Sessions Judge Mashiur Rahman Chowdhury granted Hedait bail till January 14 after the journalist's attorneys filed a bail petition on his behalf.
"Hedait was released from custody around 6:45pm," said GMA Razzak, one of Hedait's lawyers. Local journalist leaders and his coworkers were present to receive him from the Khulna Jail.
Masum Billah, another lawyer representing the journalist, said that Hedait fell sick during the first day of his remand on Thursday, adding how he had suffered a brain stroke previously.
After he was given treatment at the Batiaghata Upazila Health Complex, Judge Nayan Biswas of the Khulna Judicial Magistrate Court-3 ordered him to be sent to jail.
Sessions Judge Mashiur granted him bail after his attorneys filed a bail petition, in light of his weakened physical condition.
Plainclothes policemen on Tuesday arrested the Dhaka Tribune’s Khulna correspondent in a case filed by an assistant returning officer for providing “untrue” information regarding the 11th general election.
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Khulna Assistant Returning Officer and Batiaghata Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Debashish Chowdhury filed the case with the Batiaghata police station, confirmed the precinct’s OC Mahbubur Rahman.
In the first information report (FIR), Debashish Chowdhury wrote that despite 80% voter turnout in the Khulna 1 constituency, which encompasses the Batighata and Dacope upazilas, Hedait had reported that 22,419 more votes were cast than the actual number of total voters in the constituency during Sunday’s general election.
In the case statement, Debashish claimed that contents of the report were untrue.
A joint meeting of all journalists' organizations was held at the Khulna Press Club on Tuesday at 7pm to protest the arrest of journalist Hedait Hossain Molla.