Pakistani journalist Taha Siddiqui escaped an alleged abduction attempt by a group of people who tried to pull him out of a taxi in Islamabad on Wednesday morning.
Al-Jazeera journalist Asad Hashim said on Twitter that the group beat the Pakistan Bureau chief of World Is One News, threatened him with death and even took his belongings away.
“He escaped by running through oncoming traffic,” Hashim said. Purportedly using Pakistani daily Dawn journalist Cyril Almeida’s Twitter account, Siddiqui claimed that he was on his way to the airport when a group of around 12 armed men attacked him. “Safe with police now,” Siddiqui wrote. “Looking for support in anyway possible.”
Messages of support for Siddiqui and calls for justice followed Siddiqui’s post. Almeida and Hashim shared photos of a ruffled Siddiqui after the alleged attack.
“There is a pattern of harassment, intimidation and violence towards journalists in Pakistan from the country’s security establishment,” Wall Street Journal reporter Saeed Shad said on Twitter. “Proper investigations, even of assassinations and attempted killings of journalists, are not carried out. This is done with impunity,” he added.
In May 2017, Siddiqui had filed a writ petition alleging that Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency was harassing him. The agency, however, had said that it wanted to question him about his reporting, DNA had reported.