A Pakistani reporter working for Indian English news channel, World Is One News (WION), on Wednesday alleged that he had escaped abduction at the hands of 10-12 people who tried pulling him out of a cab.
Asad Hashim, an Al Jazeera journalist, tweeted that Taha Siddiqui, Pakistan's bureau chief for WION, was beaten up, threatened with death and his belongings were taken away.”
“With @TahaSSiddiqui right now. It is a miracle that he escaped. He was beaten, threatened with death and his belongings taken.This is unacceptable. Journalism is not a crime,” Hashim tweeted.
Siddiqui, using the Twitter handle of Cyril Almeida, a Dawn News journalist, tweeted that he was on his way to the airport when he was nearly abducted. He is now at the police station where he says he is safe.
“This is Taha Siddiqui (@TahaSSiddiqui) using Cyrils a/c. I was on my way to airport today at 8:20am whn 10-12 armed men stopped my cab & forcibly tried to abduct me. I managed to escape. Safe and with police now. Looking for support in any way possible #StopEnforcedDisappearances,” he said.
that in May 2017, Siddqui had filed a writ petition with the Islamabad High Court alleging harassment by the country's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). But the FIA hinted that it wished to question him about his reporting.
When Siddiqui replied that his work was in the public domain and that any questions could be asked over the phone, the FIA told Siddiqui in a threatening tone and voice that it would "be better" for him to appear before it, added DNA.
In 2016, Almeida was banned from leaving the country after he had written an editorial piece in The Dawn titled “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People” where he said that instead of taking action against terrorist groups, the government and the country's military was lecturing journalists.
Shortly after Siddiqui's posted his message on Twitter, messages of support from journalists started pouring in.
"Journalist community must condemn the kidnapping attempt of TahaSSiddiqui with full unity no compromise on harassment of media," journalist Hamid Mir wrote.
Taha Siddiqui, one of Islamabad's finest journalists, was attempted abducted today. A court last year ordered the federal investigation agency to stop harassing him. Stay strong, Taha," Sune Engel Rasmussen, a journalist with Wall Street Journal, wrote.
In 2016, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said in its report that Pakistan was fourth on the list of the deadliest countries in the world for journalists, and came behind Mexico, Philippines and Iraq.
The report which chronicles journalist deaths since 1990, said at least 2,297 journalists and media workers had been killed in the last 25 years, with Iraq ranking as the deadliest country with 309 killings followed by the Philippines (146), Mexico (120), Pakistan (115), Russian Federation (109), Algeria (106), India (95), Somalia (75), Syria (67) and Brazil (62).