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October 9, 2020

Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s detention: Jang-Geo workers stand firm in struggle for media freedom

Top Story

October 9, 2020

RAWALPINDI/LAHORE/PESHAWAR: The protest demonstration of journalists and workers of Jang-Geo Group against the illegal arrest of the Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman continued on Thursday as they pledged to stand united in the movement of justice for him and to foil all conspiracies against the group.

At the protest camp outside the offices of the Geo and The News in Rawalpindi, the workers of the group were joined in solidarity by a cross-section of journalist organisations, civil society and political workers. They chanted slogans against the illegal and unjust arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and demanded his release.

Addressing the demonstration, Secretary General Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Nasir Zaidi said the workers of Geo and Jang Group have turned a new leaf in the history with their struggle for the cause of freedom of media in the country. Chairman Joint

Action Committee of workers of Geo- Jang Group and President Jang Workers Union Rawalpindi Nasir Chisti said that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has played a historic role for the freedom of the media. Secretary General Rawalpindi Union of Journalists Asif Ali Bhatti said the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, international journalists and the human right organisations have unanimously declared the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman only meant to bring the Pakistan media under control and demanded his release immediately.

Among others, who also participated in the protest camp in Rawalpindi included Nusrat Malik, Kamal Shah, Naseerul Haq, Azhar Sulatn, Aslam Butt, Athar Naqvi and other social and political workers besides the workers of Jang and The News.

In Lahore, the journalists, civil society members, office-bearers of media unions and the Jang Workers Union continued protesting against the illegal arrest of Mir Shakil who is under detention for the last 209 days. Staging demonstration outside the Jang Offices at the protest camp for 187th consecutive day, they said actually Imran is victimising Rahman for exposing the corruption and bad governance of the PTI regime. They termed it a blatant attack on media freedom and a conspiracy to close down country’s largest media group. They shouted slogans against the fascist government and condemned anti-media tactics of the NAB.

Jang Workers Union’s Secretary General Malik Farooq Awan, Saifur Rehman editor reporting The News, Pakistan Times News Editor Zaheer Anjum, senior journalists Muhammad Shafiq, Awais Qarni, minority leader Aslam Pervaiz Sahutra, Ayesha Akram, Munawwar Hussain, Shahid Aziz, Muhammad Ali, Akmal Bhatti, Afzal Abbas and Shahzad Rauf were prominent among the protesters.

In Bahawalpur, the Bahawalpur Union of Journalists (BhUJ) and Bahawalpur Press Club members and office-bearers staged a demonstration against the illegal arrest of the Jang-Geo Group's Editor-in-Chief. The protest was led by former VP of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Muhammad Ameen Abbasi, Bahawalpur Union of Journalists (BhUJ) general secretary Rasheed Hashmi and finance secretary Asif Kabeer. The protesters condemned the illegal detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and flayed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for victimizing the Jang Media Group.

In Peshawar, journalists demanded Rahman's release as they continued the protest against his arrest. A senior journalist and President of the Peshawar Press Club, Syed Bukhar Shah, led the protest which was staged outside the offices of Daily Jang, The News and Geo TV. The protesters carried banners and placards and sought his release.

The speakers expressed concern over Mir Shakil's detention by NAB for the last 211 days in three decades-old case which had no substance. The speakers deplored that the NAB was silent over massive corruption committed allegedly in the wheat flour, sugar, Malam Jabba land, Billion Tree Tsunami and Bus Rapid Transit Project scandals. Arshad Aziz Malik, Shakeel Farman Ali, Farmanullah Jan, Amjad Safi, Rasool Dawar, Sabz Ali Shah, Imdad Ali Qazalbash, Gulzar Khan, Khalid Kheshgi and others spoke on the occasion.