Journalists protest arrest of investigative reporter in Bangladesh

Journalists belonging to several organizations protested in Dhaka on Wednesday against the arrest of an investigative reporter under the Official Secrets Act.

The Dhaka Reporter’s Unity organised a protest rally against the arrest of journalist Rozina Islam. She has been charged under the Official Secrets Act for allegedly copying sensitive documents without permission inside the Health Ministry on Tuesday. After being held for several hours inside the secretariat building on Tuesday, she was produced in the court which sent her to jail until her next appearance on Thursday.

Several national and International media organisations and human rights groups have demanded immediate release of the journalist. A number of eminent personalities from the field of film, TV, music and writers in Bangladesh have also urged the government to release Rozina Islam.

The Editors Guild of Bangladesh expressed serious concern over the arrest of Rozina Islam and called for a proper investigation into the incident and punish the perpetrators. 

The international media watchdog Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on the Bangladeshi authorities to immediately release her and withdraw the case against her. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) issued a statement urging the authorities to immediately release of Rozina Islam.

Meanwhile, Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Senior Awami League leader Obaidul Quader urged the media to keep patience and play a responsible role. He denied that the government is cracking down on the media for highlighting corruption. He said there are specific procedures for collecting information under the Right to Information Act and there is no need to collect information secretly.

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