The journalists have continued their protests against the harassment and imprisonment of Prothom Alo Reporter Rozina Islam for the fifth consecutive day.
On Friday, they held a protest rally at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) premises and demanded immediate release of Rozina and punishment to the offenders.
Addressing the rally, senior journalist Bazlu Manik alleged that Rozina has been subjected to criminal offence. Her family should file a lawsuit in this regard. After myriad corruption, the government has now turned to suppress the journalists.
Shahnaz Sharmin, a senior journalist, said the act under which Rozina was sued cannot be applied to journalists as they have the right to collect information.
Shafiqul Islam Kajal, who was imprisoned under the Digital Security Act, said Rozina Islam has been languishing in jail, for her journalism against corruption and for the sake of the countrymen.
Who will be the next victim? The journalists are worried today, he added.
Another senior journalist, Siddiqur Rahman, said the bureaucrats have confronted the journalists and the government.
Mentioning that nothing happens to the officials who steal, he questioned is it the fault of the journalists to write against those thefts?
Dhaka Union of Journalists General Secretary Shahidul Islam said, "All kinds of black laws against journalism should be repealed. Otherwise, this ongoing movement will continue."
Dhaka Reporters' Unity General Secretary Mashiur Rahman said, "If the government does not grant bail to Rozina Islam next Sunday, then all the journalists will start a bigger movement from that day on."
DRU vice-president Osman Gani Babul presided over the programme while its executive member Mir Mohammad Jasim moderated it.
The journalists' organisation are to hold a meeting in this regard tomorrow and unanimously announce all the subsequent programmes.
Rozina Islam was detained by Health Services Division officials inside the Secretariat on Monday afternoon, for spiriting away government documents. She was harassed and confined there for more than five hours.
Later, she was sued in a case under the Official Secrets Act at the immediate night. Later, a Dhaka court sent her to jail.
A bail petition was filed on behalf of Rozina. The court heard the petition on Thursday and fixed Sunday for delivering its order.