KARACHI: The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) in their separate statements have asked the government and various state institutions to look into the prolonged imprisonment of editor-in-chief of Jang Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and dispel the impression that the objective behind his arrest and prosecution is not accountability but to muzzle media independence.
The editor-in-chief of Geo/Jang has been in custody since early March while the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigation and remand had finished a long time back, according to the statements issued by the PBA and APNS on Saturday.
The reference against him, with the alleged supporting evidence relied upon by NAB, had already been filed in court, the PBA said, adding that there could be no fear of him tampering with evidence if released.
APNS President Hameed Haroon and Secretary General Sarmad Ali also appealed to the government and various state institutions to look into the matter of the editor-in-chief, who has been in custody for over 230 days, according to the statement issued by the society.
“The APNS agrees that like any other citizen of Pakistan Mir Shakil ur Rahman is not above the law. However, APNS appeals that he may be allowed his right to defend himself as a free citizen. This will help in dispelling the perception that perhaps the objective behind his arrest and prosecution was not accountability but was to muzzle media independence and to serve as a lesson for the entire media industry.”
Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2020