Jang-Geo workers protest against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s detention: Persecution reflects shrinking space for dissent

Web Desk – September 18, 2020

KARACHI/LAHORE/RAWALPINDI/PESHAWAR: The journalists and workers of Jang-Geo Group on Thursday continued their countrywide demonstrations against the illegal arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Geo-Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and called for his early release.

They said the over six-month-long detention on false and fabricated charges is reflective of the shrinking space for dissent and criticism in the country. They said the government is using the NAB to restrict the media freedom and look there is knee upon the neck of democracy.

In Karachi, speaking to the protest demonstration for the release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on Thursday, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Dr Osama Razi Khan said that the resilience of Jang Geo Editor-In-Chief in the face of government persecution will always be remembered in golden words. Khan said that Rahman has been in jail for past six months now and did not make any compromise with the government which speaks of his unshakeable resolve to stick to the principles.

He said that JI believes in freedom of speech and view the Jang Geo Group as a credible journalistic institution in the country.

The All Pakistan Newspaper Employees Confederation Secretary General Shakil Yamin Kanga said that Imran Khan will never succeed in his nefarious designs to bring media under control. Others who spoke at the demonstration include JI secretary information Zahid Askari, The News Employees Union’s general secretary Dara Zafar and Javed Press Union’s general secretary Rana Yusuf.

Similarly, in Peshawar, the members of the journalist community renewed the demand for the release of the Jang Group Editor-in-Chief as they continued the protest against his arrest. They gathered outside the offices of Daily Jang, The News and Geo TV to protest the detention of the head of the largest media group of Pakistan. The protesters raised slogans against PTI government for its anti-media policy.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Jang Resident Editor Arshad Aziz Malik, Shakeel Farman Ali, Farmanullah Jan, Sabz Ali Shah, Gohar Ali, Qaiser Khan Ehtesham Toru, Imdad Ali Qazalbash, Rahamdil and others.

They were critical of the PTI government for arresting Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman on false charges and keeping him under detention for the last 190 days, which they dubbed as an attempt to stifle the independent media. They implored the apex court to take notice of the case and provide justice to Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.

In Rawalpindi, the journalists and workers of Geo- Jang Group along with the representatives of the journalists organization, representatives of civil society and political workers at the protest camp outside the offices of Jang and The News in Rawalpindi against the arrest of Editor-in-Chief.

The protesters chanted slogans and raised placards against his illegal arrest and the restrictions against the freedom of media in the country. Those who attended the protest demonstrations, Chairman Joint Action Committee of workers of Geo and Jang Group Islamabad and President Jang Workers Union Nasir Chisti, Resident Editor Jang Rawalpindi Hanif Khalid, Chief Reporter Jang Rawalpindi Rana and several others.

They pledged to foil the conspiracies against the group and freedom of media and also raised slogans against Rahman’s victimization. Also in Lahore, the journalists, civil society members, office-bearers of media unions and trade union of the Jang Group continued their protest against the arrest of the Editor-in-Chief over a 35-year-old property exchange matter.

Staging a demonstration outside the Jang offices at a protest camp, workers of Geo, Jang and The News criticized Prime Minister Imran Khan for victimizing Rahman for exposing the PTI government’s corruption and bad governance.

They termed it a blatant attack on media freedom, chanted slogans against the fascist PTI regime and condemned the illegal and anti-media tactics of the NAB. They demanded immediate release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and threatened to launch an anti-government movement across the country if he was not released.

The participants included Secretary General of Jang Workers Union Malik Farooq Awan, News Editor of Pakistan Times Zaheer Anjum and others.

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