by Staff Correspondent in Dhaka;
Rozian Islam, a senior reporter of Bangla daily Prothom Alo, has been released on bail nearly a week of protests by journalists against her arrest.
Rozian walked out of Kashimpur High Security Prison in the afternoon hours after a Dhaka court granted her bail in a case she was implicated under the colonial era Official Secrets Act.
Family and colleagues had been waiting at the jail gate to receive her.
Rozian was more resolute as she came out of the prison. She vowed to continue journalism, according to a report by Protom Alo newspaper.
In the morning Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Baki Billah granted her bail on a bond of 5,000 taka with two guarantors — one of whom must be a lawyer, and the other a legal guardian. She was also given the condition of submitting her passport to the court.
Rozina was shown arrested on Monday after she was confined for more than five hours by a group of officials at a room in the health ministry.
A nationwide protest erupted after she was arrested and national and international rights groups demanded her unconditional release as she was charged for taking away “sensitive official documents and photographing them by mobile phone” under the Official Secrets Act of 1923.
She was transported to the jail on Tuesday as the court rejected police’s plea for custodial interrogation. The court also initially fixed Thursday to hear her bail petition, but it was deferred again to Sunday as the prosecution lawyers wanted to put further documents before the court.
The protesters said Rozina was implicated in a false case, made up by the officials at the health ministry, anomalies in activities of which were published in her newspaper.
They demanded immediate release of the journalist and the withdrawal of the case. Rozina’s family alleged that she was harassed physically and mentally when she was confined by the health ministry officials.
Deputy Secretary of Health Services Division Md Shibbir Ahmed Osmani filed the case against Rozina with Shahbagh Police Station.