Reactions on Baloch journalist’s suspicious death in Sweden

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Dead body of Baloch journalist Sajid Hussain, who went missing on 2nd March 2020 from Sweden, has been found. Mr. Hussain’s body has been recovered from a river in Uppsala.

Reactions from different countries, prominent politicians and journalists have come after Sajid’s body was found by Swedish Police.

A known human rights activist, Gulalai Ismail has expressed condolences saying “This is a terrible day! Sajid Hussain, the exiled Baloch activist, editor in Chief of BalochistanTimes who was highlighting human rights abuses by Pakistan security agencies in Balochistan has been found dead after remain missing for 2 months in Sweden.”

Gulalai Ismail is currently exiled in the U.S, who also escaped from Pakistan due to life threats.

She did not disclose how she managed to leave the country. All she told the American newspaper was: “I didn’t fly out of any airport.”

“I can’t tell you any more… My exit story will put many lives at risk.”

According to a Pakistani newspaper, in November 2018, the Islamabad High Court was informed that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had recommended putting Ismail’s name on the Exit Control List (ECL) for her alleged anti-state activities abroad,.

The secretary general of Awami National party and an Ex-Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mian Iftikhar said in a tweet, “The Swedish authorities must investigate this heart-wrenching incident. Our heartfelt condolences go to family & friends of Sajid”.

Not only Baloch nationalists but also some Indian journalists and a Canada based author and columnist, Tarek Fateh hold Pakistani intelligence services responsible for the death of Baloch journalist.

Tarek Fateh said in a comment on twitter, “The body of Baloch journalist #SajidHussain who was missing in Sweden has been found in a river. One more victim of Pakistan #ISI’s hit squads. How many #Balochistan youth will Islamabad & the #Pakistan Army to satisfy their bloodlust?”

Indian journalist, Aditya Raj Kaul asks in a tweet, “Did Pakistan ISI carry out barbaric killing of a Baloch Journalist in Sweden weeks after he was kidnapped?”

Sajid Hussain Baloch, who had worked with various Pakistani mainstream media outlets, moved to Sweden in 2017 as a refugee. While in Sweden he launched ‘Balochistan Times’, an online magazine, and was its Editor in Chief when he went missing.

On March 30 2020 the Committee to Protect Journalists urged Swedish authorities to ensure Sajid Hussain’s safety and locate the missing journalist.

“Swedish police should step up efforts to find Sajid Hussain Baloch and keep his family closely informed of any developments,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator in the statement. “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.”

Many journalists covering Balochistan have been targeted allegedly by Pakistani authorities, however, the disappearance and now death of a leading Baloch media figure in a European country has raised serious concerns.

Dr. Allah Nizar Baloch, head of Balochistan Liberation Front, an armed organization, shared a video of ex Pakistani dictator Pevez Musharraf in his tweet with a caption saying, “Swedish authorities must trace all the links behind his two month’s disappearance that lead to his untimely death. Musharraf’s words should be included & analyzed in the investigation.”

In the video Ex-Army Chief of Pakistan, General Musharraf says in an interview that targeting anti state people in exile is pro-active diplomacy.

Whereas, Gulzar Imam, leader of another armed organization, Baloch Republican Guard, said in a tweet, “Sajid Hussain has been assassinated by the ISI, as he was a journalist for highlighting the Baloch cause in global media. International agencies should investigate and expose Sajid’s killers”.

Baloch National Movement Chairman Khalil Baloch has said that the death of missing exiled Baloch journalist Sajid Hussain has shocked us deeply. This is an irreparable national loss for us. We are deeply disappointed by the Swedish police and authorities. Sajid Hussain’s death has sounded alarm bells for thousands of exiled Baloch. Even in a so-called civilized country, the lives of oppressed Baloch are not safe.

A student organization hails from Balochistan has termed Sajid’s death a tragedy and big loss. The spokesperson of BSO Pajjar said that the assassination of young journalist and intellectual Sajid Hussain Baloch was a tragedy and this incident was irreparable for Balochistan including the world of journalism.

National Party (NP), a political party from Balochistan has released a statement on this occasion expressing heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the family of Sajid Baloch, the statement prayed for the elevation and forgiveness of the deceased.

The spokesman for the National Party said that the discovery of the body of Sajid Baloch after the abduction of Baloch youth in Sweden was a very sad and reprehensible act. The statement called on the Swedish government to investigate the murder of young student Sajid Baloch. It is necessary to find out who abducted him and why, all the facts need to be brought to light.

Related topic: Sajid Hussain Obituary

A pro-freedom student organization from Balochistan, BSO-Azad stated on its official twitter account that Cheif Editor of Balochistan time SajidHussain is no longer missing. His dead body was recovered from Uppsala, Sweden. The organization calls on Human Rights Institutions that they must give assurance by their immediate action that Baloch people who are living in exile are safe or they’ll be found dead as Sajid.

The mysterious death of journalist Sajid Hussain has risen concerns not only in the Journalists hailing from Balochistan but also the Baloch political activists who escaped their country and sought refuge in Europe. It is the second blow for Baloch diaspora after the abduction and disappearance of Baloch human rights activist Rashid Hussain Baloch in the UAE by the secret security officials of United Arab Emirates.

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