Kidnappers release senior journalist Matiullah Jan after 12 hours
Islamabad (TP) July 22, 2020: Kidnappers released senior journalist Matiullah Jan after he was abducted from the G-6 Sector of Islamabad by men in uniform.
Sources privy to the development told The Punch that the kidnappers, who had intercepted Jan’s car in Islamabad’s G-6 Sector and forced him into another vehicle and drove away, had reportedly dumped him in Fateh Jang tehsil of Rawalpindi district, from where his family and friends brought him home in Islamabad.
The kidnappers released Matiullah Jan after the mainstream media, social media and the public outcry as they exerted immense pressure on the government to immediately intervene for his safe recovery. The Islamabad High Court had also put the authorities on notice to recover the kidnapped journalist or show up in the court with a clear reply.
During the abduction of Matiullah Jan, in the footage, about a dozen men were seen exiting three security vehicles and forcing out of his car and bundling into another car before they drew away.
“The abduction of Matiullah Jan in broad daylight in a high-security area in Islamabad is distressing, and the perpetrators must be held to account immediately,” said Aliya Iftikhar, Committee to Protect Journalists’ senior Asia researcher.
Matiullah Jan, who is critical of the PTI government and the establishment, also hosts a YouTube channel, mostly covering court stories.
The journalist is scheduled to attend a hearing at the Supreme Court today in contempt of court case.
Last week, Matiullah Jan told Committee to Protect Journalists that he believed the case against him was retaliation for his critical commentary on Pakistan’s military and judiciary, as well as his press freedom activism.
Senior journalist Amir Mateen confirmed in his tweet saying Matiullah Jan “is back safe and sound. But the truth should come out. Who abducted him, why? This is not on that some people think they are omnipotent and can do whatever they want. Waiting for Mati’s account.
Am sure @Matiullahjan919 will give his account fearlessly. He was released because of pressure from public and his own community. Media may have differences but we are united on red lines. We shall decide media reaction after his account. And decide we must!
— Amir Mateen (@AmirMateen2) July 21, 2020
I am sure he will give his account fearlessly. He was released because of pressure from the public and his own community. Media may have differences but we are united on red lines. We shall decide the media reaction after his account. And decide we must!”