The Editor-in-Chief of Balochistan Times, Sajid Hussain, who had documented the gross human rights violations by Pakistan in the strife-torn region of Balochistan, has been found dead after his mysterious disappearance a few weeks ago. According to Balochistan Times, Hussain’s body has been recovered from a river in Uppsala, Sweden. The Swedish police informed about the grim news to his family on Thursday night. Sajid Hussain had gone missing since March 2, 2020, from Uppsala, Sweden, where he had moved to student accommodation.
The news of death was initially published by the Balochistan Times and later confirmed by the New York Times journalist Declan Walsh.
Disturbing news from Sweden. Sajid Husain, chronicler of human rights abuses in Baluchistan, has been found dead, weeks after his unexplained disappearance. https://t.co/M6dLYciMcx— Declan Walsh (@declanwalsh) May 1, 2020
According to the Human Rights Council of Balochistan (HRCB), “Mr Hussain was living in Stockholm and decided to move to private student accommodation in Uppsala on 2nd of March because of his work and studies. After reaching Uppsala he remained in contact with his friends until 2 pm, after that his phone went off and he was unable to be reached by his family and friends.”
Sajid Hussain, who had his roots in the beleaguered Balochistan, had worked in many mainstream Pakistani publications chronicling the excesses meted out to the fellow Balochis by the Pakistani forces. In 2012, he was forced to flee the country following a series of disappearances in the province. Reportedly, he was even threatened by security officials while helping Reuters reporting a story on the mysterious disappearances of Baloch nationals in the region.
After escaping Pakistan, Hussain lived in several countries like Oman, UAE and Uganda before finally taking asylum in Sweden in 2017. After establishing himself in Sweden, he started the Balochistan Times which made the atrocities and gross human rights violations against Balochi nationals as its focal point. The website was subsequently blocked in Pakistan for its withering indictment of the Pakistani state authority in carrying out the barbarity against the Baloch nationals.
After his mysterious disappearance, a social media campaign was run by his well-wishers to identify his whereabouts. Groups like Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF) issued statements urging Swedish authorities to locate him. The RSF statement also highlighted the involvement of Pakistani security agencies in targeting journalists living overseas.