Islamabad [Pakistan]: Senior Pakistani journalist Sami Abraham was reportedly ‘abducted’ by unidentified men in Islamabad on Wednesday, his family claimed, saying that there was no information available regarding his location, Dawn reported.
Abraham was detained by law enforcement. Still, a statement from the capital police stated they would work with the journalist’s family and make every effort to find him, family sources said.
Abraham’s brother Ali Raza has reported a complaint of abduction to the Aabpara Police Station in the federal capital.
The application claims that at around 9 o’clock, Abraham, who had just left the BOL TV headquarters and was en route home, was stopped by four vehicles, according to the Pakistani newspaper.
He was taken against his will by a group of eight to ten unidentifiable individuals who suddenly emerged from the cars.
Arshad, Abraham’s driver, was apparently present when the incident occurred. The men took Abraham with them and left the driver behind. According to the application, along with the car keys and three of the driver’s and Abraham’s cellphones, other items were taken, reported Dawn.
Notably, Sami Abraham is a leading Pakistani journalist and an anchor with the privately-owned broadcaster BOL News.
Pakistan continues to remain “one of the most dangerous countries” for journalists. As per the New Pakistan report, journalists in Pakistan have been killed by militants, insurgents, and “unidentified state actors.”
While quoting an editorial from Dawn, the report stated, “The common thread in these killings is that truth and justice are elusive, and killers walk free while families look in vain for answers.”
Citing the death of journalist Arshad Sharif, the report said that his killing in Kenya under mysterious circumstances shows the “chilling reality” that “Pakistani journalists and dissidents are not safe from threats even outside the country.”
Arshad Sharif (49), a senior Pakistani journalist was killed in cold blood on October 24 in Kenya when he was driving from Magadi to Nairobi, accompanied by his brother Khurram Ahmed at around 10 pm.
Sharif’s death left rights organisations, the media fraternity, and civil society shocked and they called for an investigation into the matter.
Arshad Sharif’s case is not the first in which a Pakistani journalist has been threatened, tortured, intimidated, or killed in questionable circumstances; in the past, local security agencies have targeted activists and journalists like Saleem Shahzad and Hamid Mir for their alleged “anti-military” stance.
Somehow, this incident has prompted worries about the safety of Pakistani journalists. Since Shehbaz Sharif took over as prime minister in late April, several Pakistani journalists have reported intimidation by army-related agencies.
Pakistan is one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists, with three to four murders each year that are often linked to corruption or illegal trafficking and go completely unpunished, according to a Paris-based media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders (RSF).