Globe reports abduction of journalist in Pakistan

After making a decision recently not to publish news of CBC reporter Mellissa Fung’s kidnapping in Afghanistan, The Globe and Mail reports today on the abduction of a Canadian freelance journalist in Pakistan.

The Globe‘s Mark Hume reports that Beverly Giesbrecht, publisher of, a British Columbia-based online magazine, “was seized at gunpoint on Tuesday while travelling in the Bannu district in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, on the border with Afghanistan.”

Giesbrecht had adopted the name Khadija Abdul Qahaar after converting to Islam after September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. She was working on a documentary.

The news was originally reported in The News International, an English language Pakistani newspaper. The Canadian government has confirmed a Canadian is missing in Pakistan, but a spokesperson did not confirm any names. The Globe report states:

“[Department of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman] Ms. Monette said the government is not aware of any requests to withhold information on the incident, as was the case recently when CBC journalist Mellissa Fung was kidnapped in Afghanistan.

After being asked to honour a news blackout, The Globe and Mail and other news media did not publish reports on Ms. Fung’s kidnapping until she was released safely on the weekend.

The blackout created controversy with some news organizations and journalists, who believe that it was unnecessary, or even dangerous. Some referred to BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, who was kidnapped in Gaza and held for months, and who credited the publicity campaign waged by the BBC with helping to secure his freedom”

The Globe story of the Vancouver-based journalist’s abduction ran on page A17 of the newspaper on Nov. 13, directly below a three-quarter page transcript of a Q&A between freed reporter Mellissa Fung and CBC radio host Anna Maria Tremonti.