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Protesters demand an end to vengeful campaign against MSR

By our correspondents
July 27, 2020

KARACHI/LAHORE/PESHAWAR: The four-month-long protests by the workers of the Jang-Geo Group have continued against the draconian curbs on freedom of media, the crackdown against the group and the prolonged detention of its Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Held across the country on Saturday, the protesters including lawyers, journalists and media organisations joined hands with the Group’s workers to protest against the government. They held placards and raised slogans criticising the government’s policies to muzzle the press.

In Karachi, the Supreme Court Bar Association’s former president Yasin Azad said Prime Minister Imran Khan should focus his energies to bring Pakistan out of economic crisis rather than to wage a vengeful campaign against the independent media.

Speaking at the protest, he said that the Editor-in-Chief is paying the price to refuse to buckle under government’s incessant pressure to dictate its editorial line. The All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation’s Secretary General Shakil Yamin Kanga said that the National Accountability Bureau should be disbanded after the Supreme Court verdict on Khawaja brothers case.

In Lahore, Group Editor Jang Shaheen Qureshi said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman will not bow down before tyrants. “If he were to submit to coercion, it would have happened long ago. Mir Shakil never wavered from the position he took.”

Likewise in Peshawar, the workers of Jang Group continued their protest against the detention of the Editor-in-Chief. They held the rulers accountable for the existing crises, saying the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has left behind the dictatorial governments in its anti-press policies. They criticised the PTI government and the NAB for illegally detaining Mir Shakil for over 135 days to suppress the voice of the independent media.