RAWALPINDI/LAHORE/PESHAWAR: The journalists and workers of the Geo and Jang Group along with the journalists’ organisations, civil society and political workers continued countrywide protest against the illegal arrest of Jang/Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on Wednesday.
They pledged to resist the curbs on the freedom of media and to continue the movement for justice to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. The protesters on the completion of six months of unjustified arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman chanted full-throated slogans in favour of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and press freedom.
Addressing the protest demonstration outside the offices of Jang and The News in Rawalpindi, Secretary General Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Nasir Zaidi said all the human rights organisations and international journalist organisations are closely monitoring the case of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
He said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is fighting for principles while the rulers are fulfilling personal interest but the victory will be of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman who stood on the principled stance.
Chairman Joint Action Committee of Workers of Geo and Jang Group Islamabad and President Jang Workers Union Rawalpindi Nasir Chisti said the workers of Geo and Jang Group are struggling for the freedom of media in the country. He said despite all odds, the workers of Geo and Jang Group stood united with Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in the struggle of the freedom of media.
Resident Editor Jang Rawalpindi Hanif Khalid said it is a difficult time for the free media of the country. He said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has been in custody for last six months but he refused to make any compromise on his principled stance.
Secretary General Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) and Senior correspondent Geo News Islamabad Asif Ali Bhatti said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is a man of strong nerves who, despite in illegal custody, stands strong on his principles.
He said the workers also stand united and strong with their Editor-in-Chief. Chief reporter Jang Rawalpindi Rana Ghulam Qadir said the basic human right violations of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman continued despite facing health issues.
He said the rulers has been exposed themselves by keeping Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in illegal custody. He said the morale of workers of Geo and Jang Group is high and they are determined to get Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman released.
The other speakers including Shakil Awan, Rahat Munir, Munir Shah, Amjad Ali Abbasi and Nusrat Malik. In Lahore, senior journalists and workers of The News, Jang and Geo continued their protest Wednesday against the illegal detention of their Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman by the NAB and appealed to the Supreme Court chief justice to take notice of this gross injustice.
The speakers said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has been wrongly put behind bars while civil society has become unemployed. Daily Awaz Editor Khalid Farooqi, Pakistan Times News Editor Zaheer Anjum, Sher Ali Khalti, Awais Qarni, Ayesha Ikram, Aziz Sheikh and Jang Workers Union Secretary Muhammad Farooq said the case against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is very weak. They termed it outright harassment and blackmailing.
Among the protesters were: Munawar Hussain, Wahab Khanzada, Muhammad Farooq, Abbas, Wajid, Majid, Afzal Abbas, Aziz Sheikh, Muhammad Ali, Ziaur Rehman and Muhammad Shahid. They also shouted slogans against NAB-Niazi nexus and demanded release of the editor-in-chief.
In Peshawar, journalists demanded the release of Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman as they continued their protest against his arrest on Wednesday. The protesters carrying banners and placards gathered outside the offices of Daily Jang, The News and Geo TV and. They criticised the government for arresting the head of the Jang Group and demanded his early release.
Peshawar Press Club president Syed Bukhar Shah led the protest which is being held regularly daily to call for the release of the chief of the largest media group of the country. Those who spoke on the occasion included Syed Bukhar Shah, Arshad Aziz Malik, Shakeel Farman Ali, Sabz Ali Shah, Farmanullah Jan, Nisar Mahmood, Khalid Kheshgi, Ansar Abbas, Imdad Ali Qazalbash, Ihtesham Toru, Rasool Dawar, Qaiser Khan, Gohar Ali, and others.
The speakers criticised the government and the NAB for arresting Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on cooked-up charges and keeping him behind bars for the last 182 days. They lamented that the government was taking action against the Jang Media Group and its head Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for promoting independent journalism.
The speakers said the government had failed to implement own agenda of so-called change and had instead brought miseries to the masses because of the ill-conceived policies which has led to a price spiral.
They said some powerful people who were part of the government were allegedly involved in mega corruption scandals but the NAB had never dared to move against them. The protesters requested the apex court to take notice of the case and provide justice to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
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