The Human Right Council of Balochistan (HRCB) is deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of senior Baloch journalist and writer, Sajid Hussain, who mysteriously disappeared from Uppsala, Sweden on March 2, 2020.
Mr Hussain was living in Stockholm and decided to shift to a 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 2:00 pm. However, his phone went off and he was unable to be reached by his family and friends after that.
HRCB is aware that his friends have informed the Swedish police in Uppsala about his disappearance on 3rd March and officially registered a case on 5th march, but the police did not provide any information on the well-being and whereabouts of Sajid Hussain to his family and friends so far. The case was registered with Missing People Sverige on 5 March as well.
Currently, Sajid Hussain has been serving as the Editor in Chief of Balochistan Times, an online Magazine which was founded by Mr.Hussain in 2015.
The magazine publishes stories in English and Balochi language and has a radio service as well. It focuses on human rights abuses in war torn Balochistan which often goes unreported in Pakistani mainstream media.
Since 2004, Pakistan’s largest province– Balochistan– has been witnessing an insurgent movement. Mr. Hussain has been one of the first journalists in the country reporting on insurgency, human rights abuses, missing persons, drug trade in the province which shares borders with Iran and Afghanistan. He wrote many articles and stories on development of modern Balochi literature, forms of literature, culture heritage and myths of non-developed Balochistan.
Sajid Hussain started his professional career as a journalist in 2007. Since then, he had worked with Daily Times and The News International, two largest circulated English language dailies in Pakistan. He served as assistant news editor and Deputy chief editor at The News International.
After resigning from The News International, he contributed for Reuters, however due to security reasons he remained anonymous. Mr. Hussain also is a well-known critic and a story writer. He writes in English and in his native language, Balochi.
Because of his journalistic activities, Hussain fled Pakistan in 2012 and lived in self-exile in Oman, United Arab Emirates and Uganda before seeking asylum in Sweden in September 2017. On his arrival in Sweden, Mr. Hussain joined Balochi Language Project in Uppsala University of Linguistics and Philology for promotion and development of Balochi language and literature.
He also was serving as the chief editor of the University’s Balochi-English-Balochi online dictionary. Mr. Hussain started pursuing his master’s degree in Iranian Languages at Uppsala University in 2020.
In the first few weeks of his disappearance, his family urged HRCB to avoid making any statement in this regard to avoid any possible disruption in police investigation, but the police has never provided any information to Sajid’s family on his well being and whereabouts.
Sajid Hussain’s disappearance in Sweden is a great cause of concern for his friends, colleagues, and family. We urge the Swedish authorities to look into this matter and inform his family about his whereabouts and the reasons of his mysterious disappearance.