by Staff Correspondent in Dhaka;
A magistrate court in Dhaka has set Sunday to pass its order on a petition seeking bail of investigative journalist Rozina Islam who was charges under a colonial era official secret law, officials said on Thursday.
Rozina, a senior reporter of Bangla daily Prothom Alo, was arrested on Monday after she was confined by a group of officials at a room in the health ministry for more than five hours.
She was charged for taking away sensitive official documents and photographing them by mobile phone under the Official Secrets Act of 1923.
Metropolitan Magistrate Baki Billah heard the bail petition virtually and set the date for pronouncing its order on Sunday, defence lawyer Ehsanul Haque Samaji told reporters.
The court also set the date to produce further documents by prosecution Hemayet Uddin Hiron, who opposed the plea for bail.
Protest erupted across Bangladesh after the arrest of the journalist, who was harassed physically and mentally in the health ministry confinement.
The protesters said Rozina was implicated in a false case, made up by the officials at the health ministry, anomalies of which were published as news reports in her newspaper.
They demanded immediate release of the journalist and the withdrawal of the ‘false’ case, which was filed on Monday as the health ministry officials handed her to the local police station.
She was transported to jail rejecting police plea for her custodial interrogation for five days and pending hearing on her bail petition on Tuesday, and the court fixed Thursday to hear the petition. But the court did not pass any order.
Deputy Secretary of Health Services Division Md Shibbir Ahmed Osmani filed the case against Rozina with Shahbagh Police Station.