Demonstrations against detention: Protesters dub Mir Shakil ‘prisoner of conscience’

August 08, 2020

PESHAWAR/RAWALPINDI: Journalists on Friday continued their protest against the arrest of Jang, The News and Geo Editor-in-Chief, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, and renewed the demand for his release.The...

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PESHAWAR/RAWALPINDI: Journalists on Friday continued their protest against the arrest of Jang, The News and Geo Editor-in-Chief, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, and renewed the demand for his release.

The protesters were carrying banners and placards, which were inscribed with slogans and demands for the release Mir Shakil who was unlawfully detained by NAB on March 12 and continues to remain behind the bars to-date in a 34-year-old business transaction.

Daily Jang Resident Editor Arshad Aziz Malik, Geo Bureau Chief Shakeel Farman Ali, Shah Zaman, Imdad Ali Qazalbash, Qaisar Khan, Gulzar Khan and others spoke on the occasion.

The speakers criticised the government for targetting Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman to punish him for the independent editorial policies of the Jang Group. They said he was being punished for promoting free journalism and becoming a voice for the oppressed segments of the society.

The protesters said the PTI government was persecuting the independent media, which had affected the media houses and scores of journalists which was ominous for democracy. They said the government had not moved against those involved in the big corruption scandals but was victimising the independent media to make it pliant.

The protesters appealed to the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take notice of the detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and provide him relief.

Meanwhile, in Rawalpindi, the protesters dubbed the Editor-in-Chief as the ‘prisoner of conscience’ who stood on principles and refused to bow before the forces bent to suppress the freedom of expression and independent media.

The speakers at the protest outside the offices of the Jang and The News on Friday included Secretary General Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Nasir Zaidi, Chairman Joint Action Committee and President Jang Workers Union Rawalpindi Nasir Chistsi, Magazine Editor Jang Rawalpindi Farooq Aqdas, Chief Reporter Jang Rawalpindi Rana Ghulam Qadir, Secretary General RIUJ and Senior Correspondent Geo News Asif Ali Bhatti, Secretary General Jang Workers Union Rawalpindi Khalid Mehmood, Munir Shah called for unconditional release of Editor-in-Chief.

Addressing the protest, they said the firm resolve of Editor-in-Chief will now shape a movement for the freedom of the media. They said the NAB has been exposed before the world for keeping Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in illegal and unjustified detention since last 147 days.

They said conspiracies was underway to economically murder the families of over 8,000 workers of the Group but the workers stood united to foil the conspiracies. They pledged to continue their struggle for the freedom of media and the release of Mir Shakil.



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