Bangladesh arrests journalist known for excavating grafts


Dhaka, Bangladesh (AP) — Police in Bangladesh’s capital are aware of her strong coverage of official corruption in South Asian countries, where journalists are often threatened with disastrous consequences for their professional work. Arrested a journalist.

Rozina Islam, a senior reporter for the leading Bengali Protom Alo daily, was trapped in the ministry’s personal assistant’s room for more than five hours until the end of Monday, her sister Sabina Parvin said. ..

The secretary was the highest bureaucrat of the ministry, and the room was on the grounds of downtown Dhaka, where the Bangladesh Secretariat, almost all government ministries, are located.

She was then handed over to police and charged with theft and photography of confidential state documents under criminal and secret law, said Harun or Rashid, additional deputy secretary of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Department. ..

She appeared in court in Dhaka on Tuesday morning, and police demanded that she be detained and cross-examined for five days.

According to the Associated Press case documents, Islam was waiting in the room of bureaucrats involved in the process without permission to document documents related to Bangladesh’s negotiations on the purchase and collection of coronavirus vaccines. It is said to have been used.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement that the accusations she was facing could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison and the death penalty if convicted.

Maidul Islam Prodhan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said Islam took pictures of “important” documents.

“She was also picking up some documents. At that time, additional secretaries and police officers challenged her. Then police officers were called in,” he said.

A Muslim colleague at Protomaro said she was in the ministry for professional reasons, but questioned that many had illegally locked journalists in bureaucratic rooms for more than five hours.

An Islamic family said she was physically and mentally harassed while in captivity. We couldn’t verify the videos and images that were talked about on social media showing the physical conflict with Islam.

Islam is known for her reports of corruption involving the Ministry of Health and others. Some of her recent stories have highlighted the millions of dollars spent procuring emergency medical devices to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

A group of journalists from Bangladesh and CPJ demanded her release.

Aliya Iftikhar, Senior Asian Researcher at CPJ, said: “I am deeply concerned that Bangladeshi authorities have filed complaints under strict colonial legislation that detained journalists and impose ridiculously severe penalties.

“Bangladesh police and authorities need to recognize that Rozina Islam is a civil servant journalist, immediately withdraw her proceedings and allow her to be free.”

In a statement earlier this month, Human Rights Watch puts Bangladeshi journalists at risk of arbitrary arrest, torture and harassment while controversial digital security legislation is being used against many journalists. Said.

At least 247 journalists were reportedly attacked, harassed and intimidated by state and government officials in 2020. More than 900 proceedings have been filed under the Digital Security Act, nearly 1,000 have been prosecuted and 353 have been detained. They said they were journalists.