The incident that happened is extremely unfortunate and we never expected such a thing to take place. A journalist of such high caliber and experience like Rozina Islam getting harassed and then detained like that for hours should have never happened.
Who were the people behind this? We must find them out.
If she had done something wrong, she should have been approached in a normal way; in no way should she have been treated and harassed the way she has been. It is not just about a journalist being ill-treated, no person should be treated this way.
Rozina Islam is renowned for her work, a senior journalist and a known face in the Secretariat. She went there for work, to fulfill her journalistic duties. What she did is the job of every journalist – collect information and disseminate them for the public to know. It is still unclear what had happened and we demand proper information from the authorities.
As mentioned earlier, if she had indeed done something undesirable, it could have been discussed with her and sorted out the right way. But who are these people who went rogue and behaved so horribly with her?
Even when we were young students at the university, we were taught that journalists have no friends because they are always running after the truth and trying to bring the facts to the people, and making them aware about irregularities in society.
Whenever journalists try to expose the truth, certain people become hostile towards them. This attitude needs to change because journalists are only doing their work and they are nobody's enemies. Rozina is an established journalist who did many investigative reports on corruption in the health ministry and this may have ticked off some people.
To ensure that these unfortunate events do not get repeated journalists must be given a safe and secure environment to work in. They must have freedom to do their job. They must also have unity among themselves and work responsibly.
When things go wrong, the solution must be reached through peaceful discussions. The state and mass media need to work hand in hand.
The protests that are going on are only natural reactions; when a coworker is harassed, others will raise their voices against that injustice. But we have to ensure that undesirable elements do not get to infiltrate this protest and take undue advantage of the situation.
Rozina Islam should be immediately released and all charges on her should be dropped. We also demand a thorough investigation of the matter.
The author is the president of Jatiya Press Club.