Journalists, human rights defenders concerned at detention

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Journalists, human rights defenders concerned at detention

LAHORE: Veteran journalists and human rights activists voiced their concern over NAB’s high-handedness and rejection of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s bail.

It has been a monthnow that NAB arrested MSR in violation of law and the Lahore High Court rejected bail plea filed by his spouse on April 7. Veteran journalist and human rights defender Husain Naqi while talking to The News said, “If they have any case against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, they should try him in court. What has the NAB got to do with it? I can’t understand why they aren’t giving bail. MSR should get bail. They can ask for an undertaking that he will not go abroad”. The fact is there is no case against MSR and he is under arrest.

“The truth is that Jang Group was critical of the government and that is what pinched the people in power. They are using old tactics. All they want is promotion, publicity,” he added.

Mehdi Hassan, chairperson Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said, “There have always been reservations against the NAB, expressed time and again by different quarters. The Accountability Bureau arrests first and makes cases later. Their conduct violates the basic demands of justice. The Supreme Court should take notice of this and give some directive in his regard”. Asked what the media can do in this situation, he said, “The media should investigate and bring truth to the fore”.

Imtiaz Alam of South Asia Free Media Association (Safma) said, “If MSR’s lawyers apply for bail in the Supreme Court, he will get bail. Unfortunately, there is lack of unity in the media. CPNE and APNS are divided,” he added.

Veteran journalist Arif Nizami said, “Not giving bail is a cause for anxiety. It is not understandable why Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman should be under arrest when he is available for inquiry. He was called for questioning and was arrested, this is certainly unethical,” he said.

Khaled Ahmed, a veteran journalist said, “Attack on news media does immense damage to the country and Imran Khan does nothing about it. This is my big disappointment with him. Media’s loss is the nation’s loss and affects democracy in a huge way. How can there be democracy without a free media? I am against the NAB. I have always opposed the way NAB works,” he added.

 

Newspaper: The News