Baloch intellectuals express concern over kidnapping of senior journalist Sajid Hussain from Sweden

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Sajid Hussain, Chief Editor Balochistan Times was found dead at a river side in Uppsala, Sweden. He had been missing since March 2, from Uppsala.
Sajid Hussain, Chief Editor Balochistan Times was found dead at a river side in Uppsala, Sweden. He had been missing since March 2, from Uppsala.

Baloch intellectuals have expressed serious concern about the sudden disappearance of Sajid Hussain, Chief Editor Balochistan Times from Sweden. It’s been a month since the senior journalist and writer Sajid Hussain has gone “missing” from Uppsala in Sweden. Dr. Murad Baloch, Secretary General of the Baloch National Movement (BNM) said that the Swedish government, journalist organizations and other international human rights organizations should help by raising this issue and help find senior Baloch journalist and writer Sajid Hussain.

Dr. Murad said that Sajid Hussain is one of the gifted journalists from Balochistan. He had worked in renowned Pakistani daily newspapers, ‘The News’ and ‘Daily Times’ as assistant news editor and city editor respectively.

“It is the obligation of the Swedish government, police and the authority of university to trace out Sajid Hussain, and demonstrate their efficiency in this regard, otherwise their passive attitude will constitute their vicarious guilt and culpability,” said Kachkol Ali, an Advocate.

Sangar’s Chief Editor, Dostin Baloch, strongly condemned the disappearance of Sajjad Hussain Baloch saying that the disappearance of senior Baloch journalist from Sweden is not only alarming, it’s a big question mark for the protection of journalists around the world.

Pakistan Army has been involved in routine abductions and killing of several journalists across Balochistan and due this, Sajid Hussain was also facing threats of persecution and escaped from Pakistan and sought asylum in Sweden. Being the Chief Editor of online magazine “Balochistan Times” Sajid Hussain has been highlighting and covering the actual position of Balochistan through his portal. He was living in Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden for the last four years and pursuing a master’s degree in Balochi language at Uppsala University. In order to fulfill his educational commitments, he had shifted to Uppsala on the 2nd of March and the same day he went out of contact. The local police in Sweden and related authorities had been informed about his mysterious disappearance.

Dr Murad Baloch explained that Sajid Hussain is the nephew of Shaheed Ghulam Mohammad Baloch, the founder of the Baloch National Movement (BNM). The family members and relatives of Baloch political leaders and workers had always faced state brutalities and barbarism in Balochistan. Baloch National Movement had named that policy of the Pakistani state as “collective punishment”.

Dr Murad Baloch added: “Sajid Hussain, besides belonging to a political family, is a renowned journalist. He has played a vital role in showing the real humanitarian crisis in Balochistan in front of the world. He has been writing in both Balochi and English languages in Balochistan Times. Furthermore, Balochistan Times also broadcasts a radio channel to give a voice to the voiceless people of Balochistan. His mysterious disappearance has shocked us extremely and we fear that Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) is behind his abduction.”

Dr. Murad Baloch explained that political and human rights situation in Balochistan have gone worse over the last two decades. Thousands of people have been killed and are languishing in the Pakistani torture cells. Thousands of Baloch political activists in order to avoid this persecution have escaped from Balochistan and are compelled to seek asylum in European counties; journalists and human right activists are among these asylum seekers. The disappearance of Sajid Hussain has created an environment of uncertainty among thousands of Baloch political asylum seekers in Europe. The mysterious disappearance of a journalist would raise questions about the country that is proud about protecting refugee lives and show a great record of protecting human rights and values.

Sweden has ratified and singed International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 2 of the Covenant holds that each state party to the Covenant undertakes to respect and ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, birth or other status.Where not already provided for by existing legislative or other measures, each state party to the present Covenant undertakes to take necessary steps, in accordance with its constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present Covenant, to adopt such legislative or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the present Covenant.

Since Shahid Hussain has gone “missing” from the territorial jurisdiction of Sweden, its thus the constitutional responsibility of Sweden to protect his right to life, liberty and security.

Even the Universal Declaration of Human Rights insists in Article 8: Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

“Although I have no acquaintance with Sweden’s constitution and law, however I believe that Sweden being a civilized country, it has incorporated the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights into its constitution and laws of land. It is pertinent to refer here the International Bill of Human Rights – United Nations: Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived from life,” explained Advocate Kachkol Ali.

Sangar’s Chief Editor Dostin Baloch added that Sajid Hussain Baloch’s writings and journalism are not only for the Baloch people but also represent the freedom of expression and truth and his disappearance from Sweden is a serious concern for journalists around the world.

Dostin Baloch added the kidnapping and killing of journalists in Pakistan, including Balochistan, is a daily occurrence, but the disappearance of a senior Baloch journalist in foreign country is extremely surprising.

“We urge the Swedish government, including journalists around the world to take notice of the disappearance of Sajid Hussain Baloch, and try to find him,” said Dostin Baloch. He also a started a twitter hashtag #FindSajidHussain to connect journalists and human rights activists around the world. He also appealed to global media organizations, the IFJ and other World Federation of Journalists, to play a role to find Sajid Hussain Baloch.

“We are in touch with all the journalist organizations and Sangar Media organization will write letters to all journalists to help find senior journalist Sajjad Hussain Baloch,” Dostin Baloch said.

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