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October 16, 2020

Journalists carry on with protests for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s release

Top Story

October 16, 2020

RAWALPINDI/ KARACHI/MULTAN/ PESHAWAR: The journalists and workers of Geo-Jang Group continued their countrywide protest on Thursday against the illegal and unjustified arrest of Editor-in-Chief of the Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

They were joined by journalist organizations, representatives of the civil society. The protests have been continuing for the last 216 days.

Chanting slogans and carrying banners for the release of Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the protesters at the peaceful protest vowed that the movement for justice for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman will continue till his release.

Addressing the protest camp outside the offices of Jang-The News in Rawalpindi, Chairman Joint Action Committee of workers of Geo-Jang Group Islamabad and President Jang Workers Union Rawalpindi Nasir Chisti said the workers of the group were determined for the success of their movement for justice for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Resident Editor Jang Rawalpindi Hanif Khalid hoped Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman will be released soon.

Secretary General RIUJ Asif Ali Bhatti said the Editor-in-Chief always supported the cause of the workers and that was the reason that all the workers stood up for justice for him. Chief Reporter Jang Rawalpindi Rana Ghulam Qadir said the media in the country was still under pressure. He said despite all the odds, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman never compromised on his principled stance for the freedom of the media in the country. Worker of Jang Munir Shah said the government of PTI had written a new history of victimization by using state organs against the media. Worker of the Jang Group Malik Nusrat said not only the country’s journalist organizations but also international journalists and Human Rights bodies stood with the Editor-in-Chief.

Among others who were present in the protest camp were Amjad Abbassi, Kamal Shah, Naseerul Haq, Azhar Sulatn, Aslam Butt, Athar Naqvi and other social and political workers besides the workers of Jang and The News.

KARACHI: Speaking to the protest for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Workers Welfare Association’s Sindh president Muhammad Ali urged the government to stop its vengeful campaign against independent media.

Ali said that the Jang-Geo Group has always supported the truth and this is the only reason why it is being punished. He demanded immediate release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman from prison.

Journalists and Human Welfare Organization’s president Akram Bhatti said that the whole journalist community along with the cross-section of society will take to the streets in protest if Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was not set free.

He said that the Jang-Geo editor-in-chief was languishing in prison without any charge. He added that the case concocted against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman revolved around a 34-year-old private transaction which is a farce in front of this seven-month-long detention.

Others who spoke at the demonstration included All Pakistan Newspapers Employees Confederation’s secretary general Shakil Yamin Kanga, The News Employees Union’s general secretary Dara Zafar and APNEC Karachi’s vice-chairperson Rana Yusuf.

MULTAN: Civil society activists and journalists and workers of Jang-Geo Group on Thursday staged a demonstration on the Nusrat Road against the illegal detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and demanded his immediate release.

The Nan association members and its chairman Mirza Naeem also joined the protest and expressed solidarity with the protesters. The protesters were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans against illegal detention of Editor-in-Chief of Geo-Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

They also raised slogans for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. Addressing the protesters, Naeem Baig said the present government is harming institutions and stifling democratic norms in society.

He said the government is undermining the media in the country. He said the arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is damaging the biggest media group of the country. He said the journalist community and civil society would not allow the government to undermine the media.

He said free press is necessary for democracy in the country. He said the arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in a baseless property case has exposed biased accountability in the country.

Zafar Aheer, Nisar Awan, Shahdat Malik, Mirza Ehtisham Baig, Aqil Chaudhry, Tahir Yousaf, Masood Chaudhry, Zahid Qureshi, Nadeem Shah and others attended the protest.

PESHAWAR: Journalists on Thursday sought the release of Jang Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman as they continued the protest against his arrest.

They converged on the lawn outside the offices of Daily Jang, The News and Geo TV to register the protest. The protesters had banners, placards and raised slogans to call for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman who had been interned since March 12. Arshad Aziz Malik, Yousaf Ali, Shakeel Farman Ali, Farmanullah Jan, Salim Kashmiri, Gohar Ali, Amjad Hadi, Qaiser Khan, Ehtesham Toru and others spoke on the occasion.

They flayed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government for victimizing the Jang Media Group and its chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. The speakers said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman had been under detention for the last 218 days on false charges. They slammed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for pressurizing the opposition political parties and independent media to appease the government.

The speakers asked as to why the NAB had failed to take notice of big corruption scandals such as wheat flour, sugar, Malam Jabba land, Billion Tree Tsunami and Bus Rapid Transit Project which, they said, showed the biased approach of the anti-graft body.

The protesters implored the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take notice of the case and provide justice to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman who had been behind bars for the last over seven months.