Sajid Hussain, Pakistani journalist who goes missing in Sweden
Sajid Hussain, Pakistani journalist who goes missing in Sweden

Pakistani journalist Sajid Hussain goes missing in Sweden

Agency News

Exiled Pakistani journalist Sajid Hussain who fled the country after receiving death threats has gone missing in Sweden.

Prominent journalist Sajid Hussain had been granted political Sweden in 2012. 39-year-old Sajid Hussain was writing about rights abuses in Balochistan when he received a death threat from fundamentalists. Online newspaper the Balochistan Times, for which Hussain was chief editor, said it had reported his disappearance to Swedish police on 3 March.

He was last seen boarding a train in Stockholm on his way to Uppsala on 2 March, according to the group Reporters without Borders (RSF). The group said it was possible he had been abducted "at the behest of a Pakistani intelligence agency".

Relatives told the Pakistani newspaper Dawn they had waited two weeks before expressing their fears in case he had gone into isolation because of the coronavirus outbreak. Hussain's wife, Shehnaz, told Dawn that before going into self-imposed exile, her husband had sensed he was being followed. As well as writing about forced disappearances he had exposed a drug kingpin in Pakistan.

“Then some people broke into his house in Quetta when he was out investigating a story," she said. "They took away his laptop and other papers too. After that he left Pakistan in Septem­ber 2012 and never came back.”

Balochistan, in the west of Pakistan, has been the scene of a long-running nationalist insurgency. The Pakistani military has been accused of torturing and "disappearing" dissidents. Insurgent groups have also killed members of non-Baloch ethnic groups.

“Everything indicates that this is an enforced disappearance,” said the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, Daniel Bastard.