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Demonstration against MSR’s illegal arrest continue on third day of Eid-ul-Fitr

PESHAWAR: Protests against the arrest of Jang Geo Media Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman continued on the third day of Eid-ul-Fitr, outside the Jang, Geo and The News offices in Peshawar.

Jamaat Islami chief Sirajul Haq also attended the protest rally in which the participants held banners and placards inscribed with the slogans against the arrest.

The participants also chanted slogans against the arrest of MSR and in favour of freedom of the press in the country.

Sirajul Haq, speaking on the occasion, said that the arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman was illegal and he demanded the government to release him immediately. The JI chief further said that the arrest of MSR was a “revengeful act and an attack on journalism”.

Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman was arrested 75 days ago while the government has failed to prove his crime. Sirajul Haq also demanded to end the policy of pressurising media.

MSR’s detention has drawn international condemnation and has been termed a classic example of how free media is being subjugated in the country.

The veteran journalist was arrested by the anti-corruption watchdog on March 12. Despite fully cooperating with the authorities, he was arrested in the complaint verification stage which goes against the NAB’s protocols and standards of procedures.

The arrest has been classified as the eighth-most urgent case in the threat to press freedom, according to Time Magazine.

Paris-based Reporters without Borders, New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, and various other international organisations have termed MSR’s arrest as an attack on press freedom.

Recently, The South Asia Democracy Watch has written to The White House, the Secretary of State, and members of the Senate and House members of the Foreign Relations Committee condemning the illegal confinement of Jang/Geo group Editor in Chief.

In his last hearing, Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s judicial remand was extended till June 1 but journalists nationwide continue to protest against the diminishing media freedoms in Pakistan.

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