ISLAMABAD, 11 January 2018: After a lapse of more than 16 hours, Koral police finally registered the First Investigation Report, FIR on the complaint of journalist Taha Siddiqui.
The FIR has been registered under sections 365 (abduction and kidnapping), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 511 (attempting to commit the offence) of the Pakistan Penal Code, PPC, against unknown armed men.
Earlier Mr.Siddiqui had expressed frustration through Twitter for the delay in registration of FIR. However, later he removed the tweet and updated on twitter that the FIR had been finally registered.
FIR has been registered. Islamabad police just confirmed. Thankful for prompt action. Read my statement below how I narrowly escaped abduction. #JournalismIsNotACrime #StopEnforcedDisappearances pic.twitter.com/S9GiMTvurU
— Taha Siddiqui (@TahaSSiddiqui) January 11, 2018
According to a copy of FIR available with the Digital Rights Monitor and also shared through Siddiqui’s Twitter account, four armed men forcibly stopped his car, beat him up and tried to kidnap him. Earlier, through the twitter account of Cyril Almeida, Mr. Siddiqui had said that “10-12” armed men were allegedly involved in this incident. After the filing of the FIR, Siddiqui also filed an additional note, stating that the number of attackers listed is incorrect and asking the police to add additional information included indicating the involvement of 8 – 10 men in the attack in the FIR.
Added supplementary abt no of attackers. Careem driver also corroborates same. Abt 10 attackers. By the time FIR got registered I was exhausted n forgot. Those attacking me over this shud shut-up now. Also focusing on it despite eyewitnesses shows malicious intent n nothing more pic.twitter.com/3TwMUFo3u2
— Taha Siddiqui (@TahaSSiddiqui) January 12, 2018
Pleading to the police, Siddiqui asked them to recover his laptop, mobile phone, suitcase and passport. He also sought police protection as he felt hat his life was under threat.
“I have been intimidated by the security officials (civilian and military) in the past. In May 2017, I was also harassed and asked to come to the FIA HQ to explain my social media activity and criticism of the army”, says Siddiqui, recalling his name was also included in a list of people identified for ‘maligning’ army that was circulated on social media in 2017.
Talking to Digital Rights Monitor, Siddiqui noted that he was being targeted for freely speaking freely in offline and online spaces.