The journalist who went ‘missing’ in exile | Who is Sajid Hussain?
Family says it is 'too early to accuse anyone'.
A prominent Pakistani journalist Sajid Hussain has gone missing in Sweden, reported The Guardian on Tuesday. According to the available details, Sajid was last seen in Uppsala on the 2nd of March.
39-year-old Sajid fled to Sweden in 2012, where he was granted political asylum. He made the decision to leave Pakistan after he received death threats because of his activism.
Sajid ran an online newspaper, the Balochistan Times, where he talked about human rights abuses and the issue of missing persons in the province of Balochistan. After going into a self-imposed asylum, he continued to voice his opinions from abroad.
Hussain was last seen at around 11am on 2 March in the Swedish city of Uppsala, where he lived after he fled Pakistan. A day after he stopped answering calls, a friend told the police about his disappearance. He has been officially registered as a ‘missing person’ on the 5th of March.
Commenting on Hussain’ disappearance, Daniel Bastard, the Asia Pacific head of Reporters Without Borders said:
“Hussain could be a victim of enforced disappearance, given the circumstances of his case and testimony by his family and colleagues. Now, when you think about who could find interest in suppressing a dissident journalist, the first hypothesis leads to Pakistan’s security agencies.”
Extremely concerned for his safety, Hussain’s family says it is ‘too soon to accuse anyone’. Sajid’s wife Shehnaz Baloch and his two children are currently in Pakistan and had to join him in Sweden this year.
Shehnaz said that he was in good spirits when they last spoke. She said that they discussed about his admission at Uppsala University for masters and moving apartments.
“Sajid never went anywhere without informing me and his close friends,” Baloch said.
“This is very unusual and disturbing. Swedish police have been slow in working on the case as they believe people go in isolation in Sweden.”
“He was a voice for thousands of people living inside and outside of Balochistan. I believe an outside force is involved in his disappearance because Sajid would not disappear without informing anyone. He was an influential journalist and writer and had faced threats before,” Shehnaz added.
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