MSR’s judicial remand extended till June 29

Jang Geo Media Group owner Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. Photo: File

LAHORE: An accountability court extended Jang Geo Media  Group Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman’s judicial remand till June 29, Geo News reported. 

Judge Jawad ul Hasan conducted proceedings of the reference against MSR. NAB prosecutor Asim Mumtaz and MSR’s attorney were present during the hearing. 

“We have come to know that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is ill?” inquired the court.

“Yes, he is undergoing treatment,” replied MSR’s attorney.

Postponing his judicial remand till June 29, the court sought a report of MSR’s reference from NAB.

Ninety-four days have passed since the Jang/Geo Media Group’s Editor-in-Chief has been arrested but a case has yet to be registered against him.

MSR was arrested on March 12 in a fake, concocted case pertaining to the purchase of a property 34 years ago.

Since then, his arrest has been condemned by journalists and international media freedom bodies around the world.

IPI calls for release of MSR in letter to PM Imran

The International Press Institute (IPI) had expressed concerns over the arrest of Jang/Geo Media Group’s Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, noting that despite charges have yet to be filed against him, the Lahore High Court (LHC) denied him bail on April 7.

“The handling of Mr Rahman’s case by the [National Accountability Bureau] NAB is particularly alarming, as it has come at a time when independent media in Pakistan is under severe political and financial pressure,” IPI’s Deputy Director Scott Griffen had written in a letter to PM Imran Khan.

“The government has stopped publishing advertisements in several independent media outlets, including the Jang group, starving them of much-needed revenue,” he continued.

The IPI had highlighted that recent developments show press freedom continues to be under severe threat in Pakistan and that it was worrying that the “continued persecution of the independent media is designed to convey a clear message – that any criticism of the government and the ruling party will have dire consequences for the survival of an independent press in Pakistan.” 

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