RAWALPINDI / LAHORE / KARACHI: Protesting against the unlawful and unfair arrest of Geo / Jang Group Editor in Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, workers, journalists and members of civil society on Friday said the world was asking the reasons for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s arrest but the the ruler has no answers, because he was detained only to deliver a message to all those who have spoken out for media freedom in this country.
Protesters gathered outside Jang’s office and The News carried banners bearing slogans calling for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s release, and for media freedom.
Speaking to the participants, Secretary General of the Pakistani Journalists Association Nasir Zaidi said press freedom was under threat in the PTI government.
He said no one had seen such media censorship and restrictions in any era of democracy and this was the first time journalists had gone out of their way to challenge the government’s media policies.
Chairperson of the Joint Action Committee for workers of the Geo and Jang groups and Union President Jang Rawalpindi Nasir Chishti said both workers of the Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and Geo / Jang groups had compromised on the principle of media freedom.
He said the workers from the Geo / Jang group were determined to continue the justice movement for Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
Secretary General of the Rawalpindi Islamabad Journalists Union and Geo News senior correspondent Islamabad Asif Ali Bhatti said the world wanted to know the reasons behind Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s detention but the government had no answers.
He said everyone knows that the illegal and unjustified arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is part of a conspiracy to shut down Geo / Jang Group.
Demonstrations addressed included Rana Ghulam Qadir, Shakil Awan, Malik Nusrat, Kamal Shah, Naseerul Haq, Azhar Sultan, Aslam Butt, Athar Naqvi and other social and political workers.
In Lahore, journalists, members of civil society, officials of the media union and the Jang Group trade union continued to protest against the illegal detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
The protesters said Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman had been detained by NAB for the past 224 days over a matter of exchanging property for a 35-year-old without evidence of indictment or making progress in an investigation.
They criticized the prime minister for rejecting his claim to turn Pakistan into a country like Medina, alleging that he used the slogan only to deceive the masses and win elections with media support.
They urged the chief judge to take suo motu action against this grave injustice which constitutes a direct attack on freedom of expression and media freedom.
They demanded Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s immediate release and threatened to launch an anti-government movement across the country if he was not released.
The participants included Muhammad Farooq Awan, Secretary General of the Jang Workers’ Union, Pakistan Times News Editor, Zaheer Anjum, Senior Journalist Awais Qarni, Munawwar Hussain, Ms Ayesha Akram, Aziz Sheikh, Shahid Aziz, Muhammad Ali, Zahid Mehmood, Akmal Bhatti, Afzal . Abbas, Masood Ahmad, Wahab Khanzada, Romeo Jalib and many others.
Meanwhile, senior journalist Mairaj Raza Friday said the detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman had caused unrest among the media, as they felt vulnerable to preaching and writing the truth.
Speaking to attendees of a demonstration organized by the Jang-Geo Action Committee in Karachi, Raza, who is the co-editor of the Mutalba Group of Newspapers, demanded the immediate release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and an end to the government’s campaign of revenge against independents. media.
He said the entire journalist community was on the same page against the unfair detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and supporting the Jang-Geo Group employees who were protesting and their demands.
Other people who spoke at the occasion included Secretary General of the Confederation of All Pakistan Newspapers Koran Shakil Yamin Kanga, Secretary General of the News Workers Union Dara Zafar, Secretary General of the Press Union Javed Rana Yusuf and Arain Ittehad leader Jam Muhammad Asghar.
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