New York: the Pakistani government should “drop politically motivated charges and release Shakeel-ur-Rahman “the world”, an editor with Pakistan’s largest Media Group”, “human rights watch” (HRW) said in a statement in Islamabad on Friday.
In his statement, “human rights Watch” also said that “the authorities to stop the persecution of Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman, members of the family,” noting that 63-year-old Jang geo Media Group editor in chief was in pre-trial detention for almost four months.
“On 12 March 2020, the National accountability Bureau (NAB), the anti-corruption watchdog who had been accused of serious abuses, arrested [MSR] on charges against 34-year-old real estate transaction. Rehman asked for bail on the grounds that he was in poor health and posed no danger, but on 8 July, the Lahore High court denied him bail,” – said in a statement.
He noted that the next day the court heard the petition of NAB “seeking the arrest of his wife and four children in respect of the same real estate transaction”.
“In 1986, at the time of the transaction, the property, children Rehman was at the age of 8, 6, 4, 1,” HRW said.
Brad Adams, Director for Asia at HRW, said you’re looking for children’s arrest “in connection with the alleged incidents when they were still babies shows how ridiculous the case against him”.
“Pakistani authorities should stop using vague and excessive anti-corruption laws against dissidents,” said he.
The statement noted that the Pakistani media “operates in an atmosphere of fear.”
“Media under government pressure not to criticize the government. Jang group claims that in the last two years, NABA has written over a dozen letters with threats to its journalists, editors and producers for reporting that is critical of the Bureau” in HRW added.
He also noted the latest in a series of curbs placed on the media the suspension of the license of TV channel 24NewsHD Pakistan electronic media regulatory authority (PEMRA) 3 Jul with “immediate effect” for “failure to comply with its license terms.”
“On 7 July, the Lahore High court suspended the notification PEMRA and temporarily allowed the channel to resume transmission,” he said, before stressing: “in some cases, regulators have blocked the operators of cable broadcasting networks, which was shown to critical programs.”
The statement went on to observe that the NAB “was widely criticized for what was used in political purposes.”
“Created in accordance with the resolution approved by the military dictator General Pervez Musharraf in 1999, the Bureau was granted unlimited powers of arrest, investigation and prosecution. The Bureau can detain people for up to 90 days without charge”, noted authority on human rights.
He stressed that the chief judge of the High court of Islamabad ruled in March that the NAB had made “arbitrary use of their powers of arrest”.
“The Pakistani government must stop using the National Bureau of accountability against journalists, opposition politicians and critics,” said Adams. “As a first step, the government should abolish draconian dictatorship-era laws that were clutching the fundamental rights to freedom of expression.”