European media highlight detention of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman

BRUSSELS: Leading European newspapers, media organisations and broadcasters including the Voice of Germany have raised major questions in their articles about the 50-day-long illegal incarceration of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, Editor-in-Chief of Jang-Geo Group.

In their write-ups, they have raised serious questions about government interference, the method of interrogation and the arrest of an accused without investigation and despite his co-operation with the NAB authorities, terming it a gross violation of human rights.

Similarly, the European journalists, and those associated with the arts and culture have strongly protested against the unjustified illegal arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and demanded his immediate release. Expressing solidarity with Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, the founding president of the Brussels Press Club, Maria Laura Franciosi termed it absolutely condemnable act to arrest a newspaper editor to pressurise the editorial policies. The Radio Deutschland’s culture journalist Antje Stiebitz also strongly criticised the long unlawful detention of the Editor-in-chief to force him to toe the government line. Dr Ewout Klei, Editor “Dekanttekaning“ the Netherlands, described in his detailed article how the Geo TV and the Jang Group of newspapers are facing enormous pressures since a long time and the arrest of his editor is continuation of the same policy to silence any independent, critical journalistic voice in Pakistan.

Marjan Lucas, a peace and human rights activist from the Netherlands, said Geo TV is a great independent voice of the country. Afghan journalist from Brussels, Lialuma Sadid and G. Goris, editor of the Belgian magazine MO, called for immediate release of the Jang-Geo Group’s Editor in-Chief. also demanded release of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. The Brussels-based Palestinian journalist and filmmaker Dr Ahamed Frassini said he is aware of these tactics because he himself faced all that in the Israeli prisons. The Pakistani-Norwegian filmmaker Asim Rafiqi urged authorities to free Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman without delay.

Earlier, the Foreign Office of the European Union had raised the issue of arrest with Islamabad. It had also expressed concern that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman might fall victim to coronavirus due to carelessness and inattention as the virus is spreading in Pakistan and across the world, especially in situations where more than 50 per cent of the victims are people over the age of 65.

Newspaper: The News