PUJ organises rally to protest against brutal killing of Saleem Shahzad
LAHORE: The Punjab Union of Journalists (PUJ) organised a protest rally against the killing of Asia Times Online bureau chief Syed Saleem Shahzad, and demanded immediate arrest of those involved in the brutal killing.
The rally was led by senior journalists, including IA Rehman, Hussain Naqi, IH Rashid and Rana Azeem. A large number of local and international rights organisations like the local chapter of Amnesty International (AI), activists from Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, South Asia Partnership (SAP), Joint Action Committee, Lahore Bar Association leaders, Centre for Human Rights Education (CHRE), Institute for Peace and Secular Studies and numerous others participated in the event.
The participants chanted slogans against the hate-mongers and the government for not properly investigating the case and exposing the killers of Saleem Shahzad, despite this being their primary obligation. The speakers, including Hina Jilani and Rana Azeem, stated that the restoration of judiciary and democracy in the country was all attributed to the struggle of journalists and media in Pakistan, and people enjoying powers in these institutions should realise that their freedom will also be taken away if they act as silent spectators on the killings of innocent journalists merely for exposing the truth.
They added that the nation had the right to know what the institutions in the country were doing and it was the people of Pakistan who will ultimately pay the price if the media is deprived of its right for freedom of expression.
They also added that the media and civil society would not tolerate these brutalities against the journalists and they will continue their struggle to expose the murderers of Saleem Shahzad and other journalists’ killers, no matter what. The key participants included Munawar Ali from AI, Farzana Mumtaz from SAP, Samson Salamat from CHRE, senior lawyers Aftab Ahmad Bajwa and Farhad Shah, senior journalists Sarmad Bashir, Azam Chaudhry, Asad Sahi, former PUJ presidents Jalil Hassan and Bakhtgir Chaudhry, Waseem Farooq, Aamir Suhail, Afnan Khan and many others.