Pak Journalist Working For Indian News Channel, Safely Escapes Kidnap Attempt

New Delhi: Taha Siddiqui A Pakistani journalist known for criticising the powerful military said he had escaped after being assaulted by armed men in Islamabad Wednesday, In the latest case involving forced disappearances in the turbulent country.

Winner Of  France's highest journalism award the Albert Londres prize in 2014, said he was attacked by up to a dozen men en route to the airport in Rawalpindi but He  managed to escape before being kidnapped, suffering minor injuries during the scuffle.
"Safe and with police now. Looking for support in any way possible #StopEnforcedDisappearances," wrote Siddiqui in a tweet posted on a fellow journalist's account.

Siddiqui, the Pakistani bureau chief of Indian television channel WION and who has reported for France 24, had previously complained of being harassed by authorities for publishing bold critiques of the country's security establishment.

Media groups and Human Rights  voiced concern over the incident, saying the use of violence against journalists was troubling.
"This is also a reflection of the impunity that has existed for a long time, and has been increasing recently," he said.

The Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists said it had contacted Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal "to direct the concerned officials to investigate the incident of attempted kidnapping of a senior journalist".

The attack comes months after prominent reporter Ahmed Noorani was also savagely beaten and stabbed in the head after being dragged out of his car in Islamabad  by armed assailants.

Pakistan has a long history of enforced disappearances, particularly in conflict zones near the border with Afghanistan.

Pakistan is becoming very dangerous  for media workers, and reporting critical of the powerful military is considered a red flag, with reporters at times detained, beaten and even killed for running afoul of the security establishment.

 

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