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August 6, 2020

Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s arrest: Jang-Geo workers’ protest enters 145th day

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August 6, 2020

RAWALPINDI/ LAHORE/ PESHAWAR: Senior journalists and workers of the Geo-Jang Group vowed on Wednesday to continue their protest till the release of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and paid tributes to him for playing the leading role for freedom of press in the country and upholding principles of independent press and right of expression.

The countrywide protest of journalists and workers of Geo-Jang Group along with the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, labour organizations, representatives of civil society and political workers against the illegal and unjustified arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for the last 145 days.

Addressing the protest outside the Jang Building in Rawalpindi, Secretary General PFUJ Nasir Zaidi paid the tributes to Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and said he was play a leading role to uphold the freedom of media in the country and his services for the freedom of media are exemplary. He said the struggle of workers will be successful and Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman will soon be with the workers.

Chairman Joint Action Committee and President Jang Workers Union Rawalpindi Nasir Chisti said the workers of Geo and Jang group will not sit idle till the release of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan who used to cast the fingers on the other should see his own actions.Chief Reporter Jang Rana Ghulam Qadir, Amjad Ali Abbasi, Secretary General RIUJ and senior correspondent of Geo News Islamabad Asif Ali Bhatti said the justice was being denied in the case of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. He said Editor-in-Chief was arrested on the basis of unknown application.

In Lahore, senior journalists, civil society leaders, office-bearers of media unions and trade union of Jang Group strongly condemned NAB-Niazi collusion which has kept the Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman detained in a politically-motivated case for the last 145 days without any proofs or any worthwhile progress in the investigations.

They staged a demonstration outside Jang offices at a protest camp of the workers of Geo, Jang and The News employees demanding the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. Those who participated in the protest camp included Group Editor Jang Shaheen Qureshi, Secretary General of Jang Workers Union Farooq Malik, senior journalist Ishaq Shakir, News Editor of Pakistan Times Zaheer Anjum, The News Deputy Chief Reporter Asim Hussain and others.

Zaheer Anjum said media cannot work for the truth without freedom, as it plays the role of a watchdog for the society and country. He noted that such victimizations were forced by dictators like Gen Ayub Khan, Gen Ziaul Haq, Gen Pervez Musharraf in the past and now media workers are being victimized by Imran Khan who was selected by the establishment to curb media. He said the whole world knew the truth that Imran Khan was selected in sham elections and is now proving that he is not the representative of the masses and democracy. The participants chanted slogans against the ‘fascist regime’ and condemned the illegal and anti-media tactics of the NAB.

In Peshawar, the media persons continued their protest against the unjust and illegal arrest of Daily Jang, Geo News and The News Editor-in-Chief and demanded his immediate release. They carried banners and placards inscribed with various slogans which highlighted the demands. The protesters demanded early release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman who had been under detention since March 12.

Daily Jang Resident Editor Arshad Aziz Malik, Geo News Bureau Chief Shakeel Farman Ali, Shah Zaman, Imdad Ali Qazalbash, Qaisar Khan and others addressed the protesters on the occasion. The speakers said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman headed the largest media group of the country but was being victimized due to the independent policy of his group. They said the Jang Group always promoted independent journalism in the country. They termed his arrest of the Jang Group head illegal, unconstitutional and an attack on the free media. They said the government was pursuing a hostile media policy which was affecting the media houses and a large number of journalists associated with them. The protesters requested the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take suo moto notice of the case and provide justice to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.