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July 12, 2020

Jang-Geo Group employees continue protest against illegal detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman

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July 12, 2020

RAWALPINDI/LAHORE/PESHAWAR: The workers of Geo and Jang Group along with journalists organisations, representatives of civil society and political workers held demonstrations against the illegal and unjustified arrest of Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on Saturday and demanded his immediate release.

The protest of the workers of Geo and Jang Group is continuing for the last four months (120-days). On Saturday, the protesting journalists chanted slogans and raised placards for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and for the freedom of media in the country.

The protestors condemned the illegal and unjustified arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. They said they stand united with their Editor-in-Chief and will continue struggle for freedom of media in the country.

The demonstration was attended by the Secretary General PFUJ Nasir Zaidi, Chief Reporter Jang Rawalpindi Rana Ghulam Qadir, PML-N leader of Rawalpindi Imtiaz Taji, workers of Jang Group Amjad Ali Abbasi, Malik Nusrat, Munir Shah, Laeeq Shaukat, Kamal Shah and other workers of Jang and The News. In lahore, senior journalists, civil society leaders, office-bearers of the media unions and trade union of Jang Group strongly condemned the illegal detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in a politically motivated case for the last 120 days.

They were staging a demonstration outside the Jang offices on Saturday at the protest strike camp of the workers of Geo, Jang and The News employees, set up on the call of Joint Action Committee and the Jang Employees Union for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for the 96th consecutive day.

They expressed sorrow that those claiming to make Pakistan a Madina-like state had incarcerated Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman just for victimisation, though there was no progress either in investigations into the 34 years old property exchange charges against him nor any formal case was registered.

They demanded the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of gross injustice to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. They vowed to continue protest till release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. They warned the government against curbing the press freedom. They threatened to launch an anti-government movement across the country if the Editor-in-Chief was not released immediately.

Those who participated in the protest camp included Jang Works Union Secretary General Farooq Malik, senior journalist and News Editor of Pakistan Times, Zaheer Anjum, Jang Chief Reporter Maqsood Butt, Amir Taimur Malik, Awais Qarni, Sher Ali Khalti, Amjad Farooq Kallu, Naseem Qureshi, Riaz Hussain, Sohail Iqbal, Aziz Sheikh, Shahid Aziz, Munawwar Hussain, Muhammad Naeem, M Nawaz, Muhammad Wajid, Wahab Khanzada, Akmal Bhatti, Hafiz Asad, Mohammad Ali, Afzal Abbas and others.

Zaheer Anjum slammed the PTI government as fascist and the worst kind of authoritarian regimes. He said the government was bent on gagging the voice of independent media to prevent its corruption and maladministration from reaching the public.

Maqsood Butt said the fake and fabricated case against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman should be withdrawn and he should be released immediately.

Amjad Farooq Kallu said the arrest of Mir Shakil was not only a conspiracy against Geo and Jang Group but also the first step to mute all voices of independent media. The participants chanted slogans against the PTI government and condemned the illegal and anti-media tactics, being used by the rulers through state institutions including National Accountability Bureau.

In Peshawar, media workers continued the protest against the illegal detention of Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

The protesters were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans to highlight the demands. They were chanting slogans against the government and National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The protesters said the editor-in-chief of the biggest media group of the country had been arrested for the last 122 days without any crime.

They said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was arrested even when the investigations into the 34 years old property case had not been completed. The speakers including Arshad Aziz Malik, Shakeel Farman Ali, Shah Zaman and others said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was cooperating with NAB and all the documents had been in the possession of the bureau but still, he was being denied justice. They said the government should have conducted accountability of the corrupt and those involved in the mega corruption scandals.