Journalist Sajid Hussain’s wife has finally broken the silence and said that she is not satisfied with the Stockholm police department’s reports on the death of her husband. Taking to Twitter, Shenaz Sajid said that she was not convinced by the investigation and she has asked for more evidence from the Swedish authorities.
Sajid Hussain was a leading Baloch journalist covering human rights issues in Balochistan, like rampant drug trafficking, frequent military operations, alleged enforced disappearances and “kill-and-dumps.”
He was living in exile in Sweden when he went missing in March this year. A few weeks later, his dead body was found in a river outside Uppsala.
The Swedish authorities ruled out any foul play in Hussain’s death and attributed it to drowning. They subsequently closed the investigation and handed over his body to the family.
Hussain’s family, however, is not satisfied with the reports. A family friend had told the Guardian: “The family was not convinced by the investigation and they have requested for more evidence from the Swedish authorities. Their request has yet to be entertained.”
In a series of tweets, Sajid Hussain’s wife said that that from the very beginning, she didn’t believe that her husband’s death was an act of accident or suicide. She said that she has requested the Swedish authorities to hand over the documents, and the documents she received weren’t satisfactory.
Shenaz Sajid offered her condolences to the family of the rights activist Karima Baloch whose dead body was also found in similar circumstances in Canada.
“I am not convinced by the investigation and have asked for more Evidence from Swedish authorities. Recently, Karima Baloch was found dead in the same way my husband did. It proves that we cannot rule out foul play”, Mrs. Sajid said.
Sajid Hussain had worked with leading Pakistani English dailies, like The News International and Daily Times, and had also contributed to international news organizations. He was working on a report with Reuters when he was allegedly chased by the Pakistani intelligence authorities, forcing him to flee Pakistan. He drifted between several countries and finally acquired asylum in Sweden in 2017.
Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) termed Hussain’s disappearance an “enforced disappearance”, and said that they cannot ignore “the possibility that his disappearance is related to his work” as a journalist. RSF said that they have reasons to believe that the Pakistani intelligence agencies might be behind his disappearance and death, and urged the Swedish authorities to work on this hypothesis.
In the case of Karima Baloch’s death, the Toronto police have said that they have no reason to suspect any foul play, but her family members and supporters say that her death warrants a closer inspection.
Sameer Mehrab, brother of the deceased, is less sure that nothing untoward happened to his sister. “Police officers are trying to rush us into accepting [their conclusion that she took her own life],” Sameer told BBC.
“She has been depressed her whole life. Now, finally she had got her permanent residency. She was granted her refugee status, and things were going better”
Sameer said that he isn’t sure what happened, but given her tumultuous political history, there is every reason to take this incident “with a pinch of salt.”
Taking to Twitter, Mehrab urged the Canadian government to conduct a thorough investigation of his sister’s death, giver her international recognition as an activist and the history of threats that her family received.
“All aspects of these threats should be fully investigated as considerable doubts still remain in our minds. We as responsible residents of this country are ready to fully cooperate with the authorities in the case”, he said.
Karima’s husband, Hammal Haider, also an activist living in exile, told the Guardian that he doesn’t believe that her death is an act of suicide. “She was a strong lady and she left home in a good mood”, he said.
“Karima Baloch’s death needs further inquiry. My wife was an immensely courageous and spirited person. Her work as an internationally prominent activist speaks for itself”, Haider tweeted.
He said that it is their right to request the Canadian government to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of her death and the threats she had been facing since moving to the country. “We have cooperated with the police and will continue to do so”, he said.