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Exiled Baloch Journalist Who Wrote About Human Rights Violations By Pakistan Found Dead

Baloch journalist Sajid Hussain who fled from Pakistan to Sweden has been found dead after he went missing from the Swedish city of Uppsala since March 2.

Sajid Hussain

Baloch journalist Sajid Hussain who fled from Pakistan to Sweden has been found dead on May 1. He had gone missing from the city of Uppsala since March 2 after which a formal case was filed with the Swedish police on March 3. 

According to the press freedom charity Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Hussain was last seen boarding a train in Stockholm on his way to the city of Uppsala on March 2. The RSF said quoting police that Hussain was to collect the keys to a new flat but he did not get off the train in Uppsala. The charity asserted it was possible that he had been abducted "at the behest of a Pakistani intelligence agency".

As per media reports, his family and friends said he was in the process of bringing his wife and two children to join him in Sweden and had been due to start a post-graduate degree at the University of Uppsala.

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Hussain's controversial work exposing Pakistan authorities

Prior to seeking refuge in Sweden, Hussain was editor-in-chief of an online news website. He had documented the gross human rights violations by Pakistan in the strife-torn region of Balochistan and had been reporting about the forced disappearances of Balochis by the Pakistani Military. Owing to his reports against the Pakistani violations, the police had raided his house and interrogated his family on numerous occasions. He had also received death threats.

He left Pakistan in 2012 and had been living as a refugee in Sweden since 2017, according to a release by Balochistan Times. Prior to Sweden, he had lived in United Arab Emirates, Oman and Uganda.

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Hussain's wife, Shehnaz raised apprehensions that before fleeing for Sweden, her husband had sensed he was being followed. Also while writing about the forced disappearances, he was said to have exposed a drug kingpin in Pakistan.

"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," Shehnaz had been quoted as saying in the report.

Pakistan is considered one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, who are regularly harassed and killed. According to the 2019 RSF press freedom index, Pakistan ranked 142 out of 180 countries.

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