Police clear journalist Rozina of charges

Rozina Islam. Photo taken from Prothom Alo

Police have cleared Prothom Alo senior journalist Rozina Islam of the charges in an Official Secrets Act case.

The development came over a year after she was sued by a deputy secretary of the Health Services Division for allegations of stealing and capturing photos of "highly sensitive" government documents.

Investigation Officer Morshed Hossain Khan, also an inspector of the Detective Branch of police, on July 4 submitted the final report to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court of Dhaka, praying to it for relieving Rozina of the charges, a general recording officer of the court told The Daily Star.

In the probe report, the investigator said no evidence was found against Rozina and the case was a matter of factual error.

According to legal experts, the journalist would be cleared of the charges if the court accepts the probe report.

The filing of the case with Shahbagh Police Station on May 17 last year drew flak from netizens and a cross section of people. It also triggered strong protests from journalists and different local and international organisations.

Deputy Secretary Shibbir Ahmed Osmani lodged the case under the colonial-era act, which criminalises sharing of government information.

The journalist's family members and her office, however, denied the allegations and said she was framed by the authorities.

Rozina, a special correspondent of the Bangla daily, wrote several in-depth reports on corruption in the health sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She was confined to the health ministry inside the Secretariat for more than five hours on May 17 last year before being handed over to Shahbagh Police Station.

She walked out of jail on bail almost a week after her arrest.


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