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October 22, 2020

Protest for release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman goes on

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October 22, 2020

RAWALPINDI/LAHORE: The journalists and workers of Geo and Jang Group while protest against the illegal detention of Jang/Geo Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on Wednesday said the government was using the NAB and FIA as a tool to victimise the free voices of the media.

They said that unduly long incarceration of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is worst example of victimisation.

The countrywide protest of the journalists and workers of the Geo and Jang Group along with the journalist organisations, representatives of the civil society and political workers continued on Wednesday.

At the protest camp outside the offices of the Jang and The News in Rawalpindi, the protesters chanted slogans for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Addressing the protest camp, leader of the PML-N Daniyal Chaudhry said the Geo and Jang Group are the voices of the people.

He said the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is illegal and unjustified and only personal vendetta of the rulers.

He said the restrictions on the media are violation of the constitution of Pakistan.

Secretary General Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Nasir Zaidi said the chains and jails could not weaken the determinations of the workers who are determined to continue struggle for freedom of media in the country. Chairman Joint Action Committee of workers of Geo and Jang Group Islamabad and President Jang Workers Union Rawalpindi Nasir Chisti said the morale of the workers is high as they stood united with Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

Resident Editor Jang Rawalpindi Hanif Khalid said Geo and Jang Group always stood for the supremacy of the constitution and law of the land. Chief Reporter Jang Rawalpindi Rana Ghulam Qadir said that the government was using the NAB and FIA as a victimisation tools. “Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman stood firm on his principled stance for the freedom of media and refused to bow before any illegal demands,” he said. Workers of Jang Group Amjad Abbasi, Munir Shah, Kamal Shah, Naseerul Haq, Azhar Sulatn, Aslam Butt, Athar Naqvi and other social and political workers also addressed the protesters.

In Lahore, The journalists, civil society members, office bearers of media unions and trade union of Jang group continued protests against the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the Editor-in-Chief of country’s largest media group, Jang Group and Geo TV, on Wednesday for the 200th consecutive day. Staging demonstration outside the Jang offices, they criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking U-turn on his tall claims of 20 years to turn Pakistan into a Madinah-like state, alleging that he used the slogan only to woo media support to win elections. But, Imran Khan had been victimising Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for exposing the corruption and bad governance of PTI regime, they said, lamenting that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was detained despite that no progress was made either in investigations into the corruption charges of 35-year old property exchange case nor any formal case was registered. The participants termed it a blatant attack on media freedom and a conspiracy to close down country’s largest media group. They chanted slogans against the fascist PTI regime and condemned using NAB for media’s arm twisting. The participants in the protest included Secretary General of Jang workers’ union Malik Farooq Awan, News Editor of Pakistan Times, Zaheer Anjum, senior journalists Awais Qarni, Munawwar Hussain, Ms Ayesha Akram, Aziz Sheikh, Shahid Aziz, Muhammad Ali, Zahid Mehmood, Akmal Bhatti, Afzal Abbas, Masood Ahmad and others.