New Delhi: Exiled Pakistani journalist Sajid Hussain, who had been missing since 2 March, has been found dead in Sweden’s Uppsala.
The body of Hussain, the editor-in-chief of news website Balochistan Times, was found from a river in the Swedish city of Uppsala. The 30-year-old journalist, who was from Balochistan, had left Pakistan in 2012 and been living in Sweden since 2017.
“The Swedish police informed his family last night (Thursday) that they had discovered his body from a river in Uppsala,” read a statement released by the Balochistan Times.
According to Reporters Without Borders, a group campaigning for press freedom, Hussain was last seen boarding a train in Stockholm to Uppsala on 2 March. A case of disappearance was subsequently filed with the police on 3 March.
Forced into exile
Hussain was forced to flee Pakistan in 2012 after he wrote about “forced disappearances” and exposed a drug kingpin in the country’s Balochistan region.
Balochistan in West Pakistan has been the site of a nationalist insurgency. The Pakistani military has been accused of torturing people and “disappearing” dissidents.
Speaking to Pakistani newspaper Dawn earlier, Hussain’s wife Shehnaz had said the journalist decided to go into a self-imposed exile after he sensed that he was being followed.
“…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,” she had said.
Hussain sought exile in Oman, UAE and Uganda before finally moving to Sweden. He founded the Balochistan Times in 2015, to report about the “region’s untold and forbidden stories”.
According to a report in The Economic Times, Pakistani spy agency ISI was suspected to be behind Hussain’s disappearance.