May 29, 2023

By Ahmed Saeed


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has expressed its dissatisfaction with the police report submitted by the Islamabad Police in the case of missing journalist Sami Abraham. The court observed that the report has not answered any key questions related to the case and lacked seriousness.

Chief Justice of the IHC, Justice Aamer Farooq, directed the police to submit a new report on Wednesday, May 31st, and to check every CCTV footage of the area from where the journalist was abducted.

In today’s hearing, the police informed the court that the Safe City cameras were operational at the time and spot of the abduction, but the registration numbers of vehicles were unreadable. The court also ordered the tracing of the last location of Abraham’s mobile phone and the drawing of a sketch of the kidnappers by taking help from the driver who was accompanying the journalist at the time of the abduction.

Abraham, a senior journalist currently serving as President of Bol TV, was abducted by unknown individuals on the evening of May 25th from Sixth Avenue in Islamabad. He was on his way back home from Bol’s office. The police filed an FIR under section 365 (kidnapping) of PPC on the complaint of Abraham’s brother, Ali Raza.

Speaking to Voicepk, Raza said that the police have been clueless about the whereabouts and well-being of his brother even after four days of kidnapping. He appealed to the authorities to recover his brother as he was suffering from serious health issues and needed proper medical supervision for a healthy life.

“My brother is a chronic diabetic patient with a history of heart-related issues. Last year, his health deteriorated due to Covid, and he has not fully recovered,”

Raza said.

Abraham is the second journalist to go missing since May 9th when a nationwide crackdown began against supporters and sympathizers of PTI. Abraham is also considered to have close links with PTI chief Imran Khan. Alongside Abraham, Imran Riaz Khan, another journalist and PTI sympathizer, has been missing since May 11th. The police have also failed to trace Khan’s whereabouts.

Khan was detained at the district jail in Sialkot under the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance on May 11th. The jail authorities released him from jail at 10:00 pm on May 9th upon receiving his release orders from the Deputy Commissioner’s office. However, Khan’s family and lawyers claimed that he was picked up by unknown men from outside the jail and forcibly taken in SUVs.

Journalists’ rights organizations have urged Pakistan to trace the whereabouts of the missing journalists. “Authorities must respect the rule of law and either present Abraham and Khan in court or immediately release them,” said Beh Lih Yi, the media watchdog’s Asia program coordinator.


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