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Speaker’s Corner protest demands release of MSR

World

October 24, 2020

LONDON: Pakistani journalists belonging to various media outlets and journalist unions protested against the illegal detention of Jang group Editor in Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and a ban imposed on another private TV channel.

The protest, which was attended by various Pakistani journalists and a UK councillor among other human rights activists, was held at the iconic Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park.

Speaking to Geo News, Mushtaq Lasharie, who is the Honorary Alderman of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea said: “We are here in Speaker’s Corner to highlight the importance of freedom of speech. I want to tell the rulers of Pakistan that this country has never accepted unnecessary curbs on journalism.

“I am here to protest against the illegal detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman who has been arrested in a baseless and unwarranted case.

Even a murder suspect can get bail but Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has been unable to get bail in this case.”

Lasharie further stated that the country and the Jang group were incomplete without each other.

Journalists raised slogans calling for a free press in Pakistan and collectively rejected the unnecessary curbs on Pakistani journalists and news outlets.

The protesters demanded the immediate release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman who has been kept in custody for over 200 days in a 34-year-old private property case.

The President of Pakistan Press Club in the UK, Shaukat Dar said: “It’s been seven months since Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman has been kept under illegal confinement. This has angered the global journalism community.

“If the police of Pakistan can stand by their Inspector General, then we journalists will also stand by our colleagues.“Right now, all of Pakistan’s journalists are holding protests and are demanding the immediate release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.”

This year, Pakistan fell three spots in the Global Press Freedom Index, from 142 to 145, out of 180 countries.