Sajid Hussain is a prominent journalist of Pakistan who has always raised his voice against organized crime, forced disappearances and human rights abuse in the war struck and under-developed parts of Balochistan. But in 2012, after having received severe death threats by terrorist organisations, he opted for a political asylum in Sweden. He went for the decision of exiling himself voluntarily from Pakistan and since then, he has never returned to his motherland. His patience broke lose when a group of militants broke into his house destroying most of his house and taking away a lot of his sensitive information including his laptop.
After moving to Sweden, Sajid Hussain continued his journalism in an attempt to bring to light atrocities being committed in Balochistan. With his online newspaper, Balochistan Times, he continued to raise his voice and share the stories of victims and refugees afflicted by the turbulent bodies of Balochistan.
Sajid Hussain’s Disappearance
Hussain was last seen by his friend at around 11am on 2 March in Uppsala where he holds his residence. He took a train to Stockholm from where he was supposed to pick keys to his new flat and return. But he never returned to Uppsala. A day later, he stopped answering all types of calls and messages which was enough to worry his friends and family. Three days later, on 5th of March, one of his friends went to the authorities and registered a missing person’s report with the Swedish police.
“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.” -CPJ https://t.co/5tm9HLVD2P
— Gul Bukhari (@GulBukhari) March 31, 2020
Sajid Hussain’s family is hesitant to declare his disappearance as a criminal activity because of lack of even the crude evidence. His family at first suspected this disappearance as his voluntary self isolation in the wake of COVID-19. But as the time passed by with no way of contacting Sajid Hussain, his family grew serious concerns regarding his well-being and safety. Till date, the Swedish police has failed to answer the very basic questions of the investigation because of the blind nature of the case.
Sajid Hussain’s Bold Journalism
Sajid Hussain proved to be a nightmare for drug cartels and terrorist organizations when he was in Pakistan. He reported about a drug kingpin in his research that led to troubles for the entire drug market. His unpopular opinions were also sometimes troublesome for him, because the journalist bodies and media industry refused to publish his findings.
Balochistan since its birth has seen blood-shed because of chronic nationalist insurgency. Belonging to the worst affected part of Balochistan, Sajid Hussain inspired his passion for exposing any and all organizations that worked in order to bring disorder in his land. His controversial and debatable findings have suggested the military interference in the killing and torturing of dissidents of Balochistan.
Pakistan is increasingly becoming one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist in and there has been a sharp increase in the reports recently for exiled reporters and bloggers based in different parts of the world facing threats. In February, Ahmad Waqass Goraya, a Pakistani blogger living in Rotterdam, was attacked and threatened outside his home by two figures allegedly from the Pakistani intelligence bodies.