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Protests continue for release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman

Top Story

October 14, 2020

RAWALPINDI/KARACHI: The journalists and workers of Geo-Jang Group staged a protest here on Tuesday against the illegal and unjustified arrest of Editor-in-Chief of the Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and declared his arrest as victimisation and government oppression to control the free and independent voice of the media.

Before staging the peaceful demonstration, journalists and workers of Geo-Jang Group, along with journalist organisations, representatives of the civil society and political workers, prayed for the health of Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and his mother.The countrywide protest of journalists and workers of Geo-Jang Group has continued for the last 214 days against the illegal and unjustified arrest of Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

At the protest camp set up outside the offices of the Jang and The News in Rawalpindi, which has already been declared as the Freedom Street, the protesters, while carrying banners and placards, chanted slogans, demanding the release of Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and in support for the freedom of the media in the country.

Among others who were present at the protest camp were Secretary General Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Nasir Zaidi, Chairman Joint Action Committee of Workers of Geo and Jang Group Islamabad and President Jang Workers Union Rawalpindi Nasir Chisti, Resident Editor Jang Rawalpindi Hanif Khalid, Secretary General Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists and Senior Correspondent Geo News Islamabad Asif Ali Bhatti, Chief Reporter Jang Rawalpindi Rana Ghulam Qadir, Amjad Abbassi, Munir Shah, Nusrat Malik, Kamal Shah, Naseerul Haq, Azhar Sultan, Aslam Butt, Athar Naqvi and other social and political workers, besides workers of the Jang and The News.

The protesters demanded of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to provide justice to Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and release him. They said the Movement for Justice for Editor-in-Chief will continue till his release. They said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was arrested illegally in a fake and fabricated case of 34-year-old business transaction and his arrest was only meant to mute the voices for the free media.

In Karachi, Pakistan People's Party leader Dr Muhammad Ismail said the Jang-Geo Group was being punished for promoting truth in its publications and broadcast. He urged the court to declare the incarceration of the Jang-Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman illegal and immediately release him from prison. He said the government had made a 34-year-old case against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in a bid to pressurise him to toe its line.

He said the whole PPP stood with the protesting employees of the Jang-Geo Group and if Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was not set free, then they will join the Jang-Geo Action Committee and take to the streets against the draconian curbs on the independent media. He demanded of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take notice of seven-month-long detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in a fake case.

Others who spoke on the occasion included All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation’s secretary general Shakil Yamin Kanga, Urdu daily Naya Mahaz’s resident editor Ashfaq Warraich, The News Employees Union’s general secretary Dara Zafar and APNEC Karachi’s vice-chairman Rana Yusuf.