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October 27, 2020

Protests against illegal detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman continue

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October 27, 2020

RAWALPINDI/LAHORE: KARACHI: The protest of journalists and workers of the Geo and Jang Group has been continuing in Rawalpindi for last 227 days on Monday against the illegal and unjustified detention of Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, while the protesters said that truth will prevail and Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman will get justice.

At the protest camp outside the offices of Jang and The News in Rawalpindi, the protestors chanted slogans, carrying the banners and placards, for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and against the restrictions on the freedom of media in the country.

Addressing the protest camp, Chairman Joint Action Committee of workers of Geo and Jang Group Islamabad and President Jang Workers Union RawalpindiNasir Chisti said that the workers of Geo and Jang Group were determined for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

He said the workers will never bow before the dictatorial attitude of the rulers and will continue their struggle for the freedom of media in the country. Secretary General RIUJ Asif Ali Bhatti said the journalists of the country had given the clear message to rulers that there would be no compromise on the freedom of the media in the country and would achieve it despite all odds.

Resident Editor Jang Rawalpindi Hanif Khalid appealed to Supreme Court of Pakistan for justice to Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. Chief Reporter Jang Rawalpindi Rana Ghulam Qadir said the false and fabricated case against Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group only meant to victimisation.

PML-N leader Rawalpindi Imtiaz Taji said he paid tribute to Editor-in-Chief of Geo and Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for his stance to keep the flag of freedom of media in the country high.

Worker of Geo and Jang Group Munir Shah said that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman had raised the flag of truth in the country and now everyone in the country stood with him in his struggle for freedom of the media in the country.

Worker of Geo and Jang Group Malik Nusrat said the whole Pakistan had known the motives of the rulers behind framing the concocted and fabricated case against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

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

Meanwhile, 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 on Monday for the 205th consecutive day in Lahore. Mir Shakil has been detained for the last 227 days under NAB custody over a 35-years old property exchange matter without giving any proof of charges or making any progress in the investigations.

Staging demonstration outside the Jang offices, the protesters criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for backing out on his 20-years claims to turn Pakistan into a Madinah-like state, alleging that he used the slogan only to hoodwink masses and win elections through media support.

Imran Khan, they said, had been victimising Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman for exposing the corruption and bad governance of PTI regime, they said, lamenting that Mir Shakil was detained despite that no progress was made either in investigations into the corruption charges of 35 years 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 Jang works union Malik Farooq Awan, News Editor of Pakistan Times, Zaheer Anjum, senior journalists Sher Ali Khalti, Awais Qarni, Shafiq Ahmad, Munawwar Hussain, Ms Ayesha Akram, Aziz Sheikh, Shahid Aziz, Muhammad Ali, Akmal Bhatti, Afzal Abbas, Zahid Mehmood, Shahzad Rauf and others.

Meanwhile, Qaumi Watan Party (QWP) leader Sardar Ahmed Nawaz on Monday said that the Jang-Geo Group had always promoted independent journalism and the government was afraid of it because of exposure of incompetence and corruption to the public.

The QWP leader was addressing the workers of the Jang-Geo Group protesting against the over seven-month-long detention of Mir Shakil in Karachi without any progress in the case or producing a shred of evidence against him.

Nawaz said that the government wanted to blackmail the news group into subjugation and was keeping Editor-in-Chief of Jang-Geo Group, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, in the prison in a fake and fabricated case. He said, however, the truth can never be contained and the whole country knows of the wrongdoings of this government.

The QWP leader demanded immediate release of the Editor-in-Chief and warned the government against its vengeful campaign against the independent media. He said that the government will have to pay for all its crimes.