Tuesday, February 16, 2021

8 months after, Pakistan court grants bail for media tycoon held without charges


tiamin rice

Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Monday approved bail for the Editor-in-Chief of the country’s largest media group, after he was detained for eight months without formal charges, a defence lawyer said.

Mir Shakeelur Rehman, who owns Jang Media Group, was arrested in March by anti-graft authorities on allegations of corruption related to a property deal he conducted more than three decades ago.

Rehman has since been in custody, but was never formally charged in court, in defiance of the country’s laws, his lawyer, Amjad Pervaiz, said.

The Lahore High Court denied bail to Rehman in July, in what lawyers’ unions called a decision against all principles of justice.

Rehman’s Jang Media Group publishes newspapers in both Urdu and English and runs Pakistan’s most popular television network Geo.

Unions for lawyers and journalist have been protesting against the arrest, saying it is part of a larger crackdown on those critical of the government and the military.

Pakistani media and journalists have faced threats and harassment since the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan took office in 2018 after elections tainted by allegations of manipulation by the military.

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