Award-winning Pakistani Journalist Escapes Kidnap Attempt

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Award-winning Pakistani Journalist Escapes Kidnap Attempt

Even as news of the attempted abduction spread on Pakistani Twitter, Siddiqui was predictably ridiculed by many, who questioned how he was able to escape from a gang of 10-12 men.

"I was on my way to the airport today at 8:20 AM when 10-12 armed men stopped my cab and forcibly tried to abduct me". The WION News journalist, who managed to escape by jumping out of the moving vehicle, is now safe and at Koral police station. "Looking for support in any way possible #StopEnforcedDisappearances", he said.

Tweeting from the account of Journalist Cyril Almeida, Siddiqui shared further details of the event.

Journalist Asad Hashim tweeted, "Siddiqui was beaten [and] threatened with death".

The country routinely ranks among the world's most risky countries 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.

The Indian news channel's journalist had previously claimed to have been harassed by Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), which had issued a him notice and asked him to appear before its counterterrorism wing, Dawn reported.

"This is extremely worrying and reinforces the fear that human rights groups and media organisations have voiced for a while now that the Pakistan government views violence as an instrument of dealing with dissenting voices", Human Rights Watch country representative Saroop Ijaz told AFP. It is a miracle that he escaped.

"Journalist community must condemn the kidnapping attempt of TahaSSiddiqui with full unity no compromise on harassment of media", journalist Hamid Mir wrote.

Siddiqui has been beaten and threatened with death. Journalism is not a crime. Superintendent Police Dr Mustafa Tanveer confirmed that Siddiqui approached police soon after the incident.

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