The South Asians Against Terrorism and for Human Rights (SAATH) strongly condemns the abduction of Pakistani journalist Matiullah Jan from the capital city of Islamabad. SAATH also endorses the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)’s and the change.org petition that demand for the Federal Government to take immediate measures for the safe release of Matiullah Jan.
Jan was abducted this morning outside the school where his wife teaches, in Islamabad. The footage from the school CCTV shows that men in plain clothes and uniforms forcefully took him out of the car and beat him before taking him away. This is a known modus operandi of Pakistani intelligence agencies and the same has been observed and reported in many previous abductions of those critical of Pakistani military.
We at SAATH forum are deeply concerned at increasing attempts to silence the media and suppress independent voices by such abductions. Matiullah Jan has an exemplary journalistic career and he always stood against the powerful people. He is an effective voice on missing persons and enforced disappearances in Balochistan, Sindh and Pashtun areas.
In past, Matiullah Jan was attacked by unknown assailants in Islamabad when he was driving his children back home. He thankfully survived that attack. He is also one of the six journalists who faced investigation by a Pakistani intelligence agency just because they posted photo of their murdered Saudi exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi.