Amidst the growing importance of the health sector owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, Rozina Islam filed a series of reports on various inconsistencies, corruption, and mismanagement in the health sector. This has angered certain quarters and Rozina Islam has fallen prey to their wrath, according to Sazzad Sharif, managing editor of Prothom Alo.
"There was no reason to keep her detained at the Secretariat in this way," said Sazzad Sharif while addressing a human chain formed by Rozina Islam's colleagues and employees of Prothom Alo in front of its office in the capital.
Rozina Islam has gained fame at home and abroad in her long career in journalism. She got many awards for her reporting. Investigative journalism is her key strength and she has uncovered many things which has often led the government to take corrective measures.
Sazzad Sharif also said that the issue of Rozina Islam will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
"We are confident that we will get justice. Rozina Islam went to the Secretariat to discharge her professional duties as a journalist. She did not go to commit any crime. People have benefited from her journalism, as has journalism and the country."
When asked whether the case against Rozina Islam is against independent journalism, Sazzad Sharif said freedom of speech, especially freedom in journalism has been guaranteed in the constitution.
The laws that have been enacted in recent times, including the Digital Security Act, are clearly contradictory and in conflict with the freedom of speech and democracy that we have gained, paid in blood. This Act has narrowed the path of independent journalism, he added.
Anisul Haque, associate editor of Prothom Alo, demanded the unconditional release of Rozina Islam and the withdrawal of the case filed against her.
"It could be beyond legal procedure, it could be a political decision. We could have secured Rozina's bail if the remand plea was not made.
"As citizens, we think the lawsuit against Rozina is a false one. We want the unconditional release of Rozina Islam, the withdrawal of the case against her, and an investigation of those who humiliated her, and to bring those responsible to justice."