Ebene News – CA – Karima Baloch: Death of Pakistani rights activists is not ‘criminal’, Toronto police say

Christy somos
CTVNewsca writer

@C_Somos
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TORONTO –
The death of prominent Pakistani rights activist Karima Baloch, 37, is considered “non-criminal”, Toronto police say

Baloch reportedly disappeared around 3:00 p.m. on Sunday in the Bay Street and Queens Quay West area

Toronto Police issued a call for information early Monday morning, asking anyone who saw them to come forward

Police tweeted an update later in the day saying she had been ‘located’ and a new release later confirmed that she had been found

In an email to CP24, a press secretary confirmed that Baloch had been found deceased and was being “investigated as a non-criminal death” and that there was ” no suspicious circumstances “”

Baloch was an activist in the Balochistan region of western Pakistan and a vocal critic of the Pakistani military and state establishment

She was well known and was the first woman to head the banned militant group Baloch Student’s Organization, according to the BBC Other members of his extended family with links to the activist movement disappeared and were later found dead

Earlier this year, another exiled Balochian and relative of Ms Baloch, journalist Sajid Hussain was found dead in Sweden where he had sought political asylum in Pakistan, two months after his disappearance

Activists say Baluch protesters are being targeted by Pakistani military – claim they deny

Baloch left Pakistan in 2015 and sought asylum in Canada in 2016 after terrorism charges were filed against her

Baloch was named in 2016 to the BBC’s ‘Annual List of 100 Inspirational and Influential Women’ for her work and has tirelessly championed the rights of people living in Balochistan online and in person, even in exile

A friend of Baloch’s told the BBC she continues to receive threats against her, including a recent one “warning someone would send her a ‘Christmas present and teach her a lesson'”

The last thing Baloch shared on Twitter was a Guardian article describing the “fate of thousands of missing in Pakistan”

A report by the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances states that there are 1,144 cases of alleged “enforced disappearances” from Pakistan between 1980 and 2019 – 731 of them are still missing, and the activists say many cases will never make it to a UN committee

The reaction to Baloch’s death was marked by a wave of grief and demands for justice in the public and activist spheres

Amnesty International South Asia tweeted: “The death of activist Karima Baloch in Toronto, Canada is deeply shocking and must be immediately and effectively investigated”

Shocked and devastated Senior #Baloch activist and my friend #KarimaBaloch found dead in #Toronto today She disappeared yesterday (#Sunday, #Dec 20th) Karima was #fierce, #compassionate and #wise Here is her innocent face but thoughtful in my living room in October imageTwittercom / Qerk2bveFB

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Karima Baloch

Ebene News – CA – Karima Baloch: Death of Pakistani human rights activists “non-criminal”, Toronto police say

Source: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/karima-baloch-pakistani-rights-activists-death-non-criminal-toronto-police-say-1.5241415