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Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui escapes kidnap attempt

Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui speaks during a press conference after being assaulted by armed men in Islamabad, 10 January 2018
Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui speaks during a press conference after being assaulted by armed men in Islamabad, 10 January 2018

AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images

This statement was originally published on pakistanpressfoundation.org on 11 January 2018.

Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui managed to evade an abduction attempt in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, by armed men in two cars, who intercepted him as he was on his way to the airport on the morning of January 10, 2018.

According to Siddiqui who reports for France 24, New York Times, The Guardian and other international publications, armed men stopped and pulled him out from the taxi, started beating him and warned they would shoot him if he resisted.

Siddiqui said he is working with Hollywood filmmaker Michael Winters, who made a film on the kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl. Siddiqui further added the purpose for his travel to London, United Kingdom was to deliver some scenes for the movie.

In a press conference, Siddiqui said he had been receiving threats regarding his journalistic work and social media activity.

In May 2017, Siddiqui had filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for harassing him over the phone.

A criminal complaint has been launched in Koral Police station and the journalist was examined medically at the Pakistan Institute Medical Sciences (PIMS) hospital in Islamabad.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists condemned this act and vowed that freedom of the press would not be suppressed through such actions.

In a statement, the Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) expressed serious concerns over the attempted kidnapping. The RIUJ statement said they were in contact with senior police officers to probe the issue and extend security to the journalist.

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