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July 31, 2020

Protest against illegal arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman continues

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July 31, 2020

KARACHI/LAHORE/MULTAN/PESHAWAR: Demonstrations against the prolonged detention of Jang-Geo Editor-In-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and coercing and stifling of the independent media were held across the country by the group's workers and participated by political workers, news and journalist organisations.

In Karachi, addressing the demonstration, Karachi Press Club's former secretary Amir Latif said that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was representing the whole journalist community of the country against curbs by the federal government on independent media. Others who spoke to the demonstration included All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation's secretary general Shakil Yamin Kanga, The News Employees Union's general secretary Dara Zafar and Javed Press Union's general secretary Rana Yusuf.

In Lahore, senior journalists, civil society leaders, office-bearers of media unions and trade unions of the Jang Group condemned the NAB-Niazi nexus for the over four-month long detention of Mir Shakil. Addressing the protesters, Jang’s Group director Shaheen Qureshi termed the PTI government as the worst kind of authoritarian regime bent upon gagging the independent media to hide its corruption and bad governance from being exposed to the public.

In Multan, the Jang, Geo and The News workers along with civil society activists staged a demonstration against the illegal detention of Jang-Geo Group Editor-in-Chief. They had gathered at the Shahi Eidgah and displayed placards and banners inscribed with slogans “Release Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.” The protesters said that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman had lost his brother and sister while facing illegal detention. They announced celebrating Eid with simplicity and offering special prayers for his early release. Senior journalist Nisar Awan said the journalists do not want to confront with the institutions, but would also not compromise on reporting the truth.

They said the government could not break Rahman’s commitment to free press. Zafar Aheer, Nadeem Shah, Shahadat Hussain, Imran Chaudhry, Ehtesham Baig, Muhammad Kashif, Aqil Chaudhry, Nisar Awan and Muhammad Omar attended the demonstration.

Meanwhile in Peshawar, the media workers also continued the protest against the Jang Group Editor and demanded his release without any further delay. They carried banners and placards inscribed with slogans which condemned the pressure tactics against the free media and sought immediate release of the head of the largest media group of the country.

The speakers included senior journalists Arshad Aziz Malik, Shakeel Farman, Imdad Ali Qazalbash, Shah Zaman, Farmanullah Jan and others. The speakers flayed PTI government and NAB. They said deliberate actions were taken to pressure the Jang Media Group including stopping advertisements and blocking the Geo transmission in one way or the other.