LONDON: British Pakistani community members and journalist organisations have strongly condemned the illegal arrest and detention of Jang and Geo’s Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman as well as the illegal shutdown of Geo News by the PTI-government controlled Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).
A large number of community members and journalists from three unions gathered outside Pakistan High Commission here on Saturday afternoon to demand release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and to call on the government to stop suppression of media through the use of draconian National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for fake cases and trumped-up charges.
Protests of journalist unions were also held in Bradford, Birmingham, Luton and Manchester which were attended by local British Pakistani journalists and community members. The participation in all demonstration was high despite the fact that fewer people are attending public gathering due to warnings on the outbreak of Coronavirus.
The participants of the gathering termed the detention of Jang/ Geo Editor-in-Chief as an attack on press freedom. The protestors belonged to a wide range of fields including journalists, politicians, lawyers, students and members of the civil society. Representatives of the PPP, PML-N, Jamat-e-Islami, PSP, ANP and Pakistani and Kashmir groups addressed the crowd and promised support for media freedom. Journalists belonging to different organisations were also part of the crowd and showed solidarity with their fellow journalists.