Sajid Baloch’s death: No crime was committed, Swedish authority closes investigation

The mystery surrounding Sajid Hussain Baloch’s death has been resolved. The Swedish prosecution authority has closed a preliminary murder investigation as they no longer suspect a crime has taken place. Will all those who blamed ISI for Baloch’s death apologize now?

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The Swedish prosecution authority has closed a preliminary murder investigation opened when the body of Sajid Hussain Balcoh, a Sweden-based Pakistani journalist, was found in Uppsala in April. The authority has said that they no longer suspect a crime has taken place. Hence, the mystery surrounding Sajid Baloch’s death has been resolved.

The body of Sajid Baloch, 39, was found in the Fyris River just north of the city where he had been working and studying.

According to international media reports, the Swedish Prosecution Authority has now closed its preliminary investigation, explaining that there is no longer cause to continue with it.

Sajid Baloch’s death: dead body found in Sweden

A Pakistani journalist Sajid Baloch, who was reportedly living in exile in Sweden and had been missing since March 2, was found dead in April, 2020.  “His body was found on April 23 in the Fyris river outside Uppsala,” police spokesperson Jonas Eronen told media.  “The autopsy has dispelled some of the suspicion that he was the victim of a crime,” Eronen added.

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The police spokesperson also said that while a crime could not be completely ruled out, Hussain’s death could equally have been the result of an accident or a suicide.

“As long as a crime cannot be excluded, there remains the risk that his death is linked to his work as a journalist,” Erik Halkjaer, head of the Swedish branch of Reporters without Borders (RSF), said.

Hussain, hailing from Balochistan, was working part-time as a professor in Uppsala, about 60 kilometres north of Stockholm, when he went missing on March 2.

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Baloch had worked for leading English-language dailies in Pakistan, including The News and The Daily Times. He was also the chief editor of the Balochistan Times, an online magazine he had set up, in which he wrote about drug trafficking, forced disappearances and a long-running insurgency.

Hussain’s death and speculations

Pakistani journalists and rights groups have called on Swedish authorities to step up efforts to find missing journalist Sajid Hussain Baloch, who disappeared from Sweden.

Some activists and several Indian media outlets pointed fingers at the security agencies of Pakistan for allegedly killing the journalist. It was highlighted as if he was targeted by Pakistani agencies for highlighting human rights issues, and Sajid Baloch’s death was a ‘murder’.

Gulalai Ismail, a controversial activist, even demanded that “Pakistan Embassy in Sweden should be investigated for their involvement in abduction and murder of Baloch exiled activist Sajid Hussain. There has been an increasing trend of threats and attacks on the exiled activists facilitated through embassies. I’d personally witnessed it”.

It was repeatedly said that Pakistan’s secret agencies might have played any role. Afrasiab Khattak, former senator, has said that “criticism of the army is a red line in Pakistan that tends to attract strong arm tactics against journalists/bloggers . But the recent mysterious disappearance of a Baloch journalist Sajid Hussain in Sweden has raised new questions”.

Contrary to what was being claimed, the Swedish prosecution authority has maintained that either Sajid Baloch’s death was an act of suicide or an accident. However, there was no crime found in this case.