Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has strongly condemned the confinement of Rozina Islam, a senior reporter of the daily Prothom Alo, in the health ministry while performing her professional duties on Monday.
The Bangladesh chapter of the global corruption watchdog also called for the immediate withdrawal of the case filed against the journalist, who is known for a number of investigating reports on corruption and irregularities including that of the health sector, and her unconditional release.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said detaining Rozina was an angry reaction of the health ministry to her reports that reflected the lack of coordination and professionalism in dealing with the Covid-19 crisis, irregularities and corruption.
"This is a warning message from the corrupt to those who have so far been doing journalism with at least some principles and dedication and trying to protect the public interest through investigative journalism, despite hundreds of adversities," he added.
He further denounced charging Rozina under Sections 3 and 5 of the Official Secrets Act-1923 and Sections 379 and 411 of the Penal Code.
"In this case, the journalistic identity of Rozina Islam was not considered in any way, but a certain group has tried to teach the whole media a lesson by trapping her," he said.
Dr Zaman also posed a question whether the government is constantly being held hostage by a section of dishonest, unethical and high-ranking officials or not.