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Police have arrested Rosina Islam, 42, an investigative reporter for the country’s largest Bengali daily newspaper, Prothom Aloo, under the Official Secrets Act. She was later charged with stealing Ministry of Health documents.

Islam’s lawyer said that Islam released him on bail after the chief judge in the capital, Dhaka, ordered her to hand over her passport and pay bail of 5,000 taka ($ 60).

“We did not object to releasing her on temporary bail, on the condition that she present her passport,” said Abdullah Abu, the general prosecutor in Dhaka.

He said the presentation of the passport was to prevent her from leaving the country, adding that Islam was expected to be released later in the day.

Journalists’ unions and defense groups said that Islam was detained because of her accounts, which included allegations that badly needed medical equipment was left at Dhaka airport for several months, and that he was offered bribes for recruiting doctors.

The Secretary-General of the National Press Club of Bangladesh welcomed the court’s decision to release on bail, but called for the case against her to be dropped. “She was asked to hand over her passport, which limits her freedom of movement,” said Ilyas Khan. “We have demanded that all cases against her be withdrawn immediately … Bangladeshi journalists are still working in a climate of fear.”

Post source: guardian


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