Missing for over two months ever since was last seen boarding a train in Stockholm to Uppsala on March 02, 2020, 39-year-old exiled Pakistani journalist and Balochistan Times Editor-in-Chief, Sajid Hussain was found dead in Sweden under mysterious circumstances. While a case of disappearance was filed with the Swedish police on March 03, the Committee to Protect Journalists released a statement on March 30 asking the Swedish authorities to “make every effort to locate missing journalist Sajid Hussain Baloch and ensure his safety”. Also Read - Pakistani Man Arrested For Attacking Sikh Shrine in England
Balochistan Times covers human rights abuse in the province and Hussain had fled Pakistan, about eight years ago, after receiving death threats on exposing a top drug lord Imam Bheel, behind enforced disappearances in Balochistan. Hussain’s wife Shehnaz told Dawn that his 2012 report on the issue led to “some threats” and he also sensed being followed. She added, “Then some people broke into his house in Quetta when he was out investigating a story. They took away his laptop and other papers too. After that he left Pakistan in September 2012 and never came back.” Also Read - Local Residents Capture Trained 'Spy' Pigeon From Pakistan Along International Border in Kathua
Having lived in exile in varied countries, Hussain reportedly sought asylum in Sweden in 2017. Wajid Hussain Baloch, Sajid’s brother, who remains in Pakistan, told CPJ, “We don’t know whom we are fighting.” Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, then sent out a statement that said, “Swedish police should step up efforts to find Sajid Hussain Baloch and keep his family closely informed of any developments. The disappearance of a journalist who focused on one of Pakistan’s most sensitive issues—human rights in Balochistan—and who escaped Pakistan because of threats he received, is especially concerning.” Also Read - 'Your Pain is Our Pain': Twitter India Stands in Solidarity With Pakistan After Tragic Loss of Lives in PIA Plane Crash
As per Reporters Without Borders, “the editor went missing after boarding a train in Stockholm at around 11.30 am on March 2 to go Uppsala, 70 km to the north, with the aim of collecting the keys to his new apartment and leaving some personal effects there.”
On May 01, 2020, the Swedish police informed Hussain’s family that they had discovered his body in a river in Uppsala, a city near Stockholm. Balochistan Times realsed a statement that read, “We at Balochistan Times are deeply saddened by the demise of our dear friend and the founder of this magazine. We would like to extend our most sincere condolences to his family. Also, we express gratitude to his former colleagues, friends, journalists and rights organisations for speaking up for him after his disappearance. Sajid will forever remain in our thoughts.”
May his soul rest in peace!