Rozina Islam Walks Free on Bail

Rozina Islam was nabbed on Monday at the health ministry on allegations of trying to steal and film sensitive documents related to joint production of Covid vaccines.
Rozina Islam
Rozina Islam, Bangladeh

Kolkata, May 23 : Bangladesh journalist Rozina Islam walked free on Sunday, a week after she was arrested in a case filed by the health ministry under the Officials Secrets Act.

A senior reporter with Bangladesh’s top Bengali daily ‘Prothom Alo‘, Rozina was received outside the gates of Kashimpur Central Women’s jail near Dhaka.

Kashimpur jailors said they released her after receiving the court orders.

Earlier in the day, Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Baki Billah granted her bail on a bond of Tk 5,000 with two guarantors — one of whom must be a lawyer, and the other a legal guardian.

She was also asked to surrender her passport.

Rozina Islam was nabbed on Monday at the health ministry on allegations of trying to steal and film sensitive documents related to joint production of Covid vaccines.

She is seen in a video released by police as agreeing to give an undertaking if released.

But her employers claimed she was doing her duty and trying to expose graft.

Health ministry officials say her husband Monirul Islam Mithu has received and executed supply orders worth 100 million Taka ($ 1.2 million) since the Covid outbreak and Rozina has reported against the ministry in recent weeks after Mithu failed to land some fresh orders.

They said she was trying to film and steal a 62 page file that contains government decision on allowing joint ventures for producing Covid vaccines.

Later, Shibbir Ahmed Osmani, Deputy Secretary of Health Services division under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, filed the case with Shahbagh Police Station.

Different local and international organisations have been protesting the arrest, with a demand to release her soon.

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