Ebene News – CA – Pakistani human rights activist Karima Baloch found dead in Canada

Husband says foul play cannot be ruled out after body of 37-year-old dissident is found in Toronto

Pakistani dissident human rights activist living in exile in Canada found dead in Toronto after going missing

Karima Baloch, 37, was granted asylum in Canada in 2016 after her work as a human rights activist in the troubled Pakistani state of Balochistan resulted in her being followed and threatened by the authorities

First president of the Baluch Student Organization (BSO-Azad), a political student organization, she defended the rights of those living in a region with a long-standing insurgency movement and raised the issue of disappearances

She was listed by the BBC as one of its 100 Most Inspirational and Influential Women of 2016 for her human rights work

Baloch is the second Pakistani dissident from Balochistan living in exile to be found dead this year In May Sajid Hussain, a journalist who wrote about human rights abuses in Balochistan, was found dead in a river in Sweden, where he had applied for asylum after death threats in Pakistan

Baloch’s husband Hammal Haider, also a Pakistani activist living in exile, said she left home at noon on Sunday to take a walk on Central Toronto Island, as she often does, but that ‘she never came back Toronto Police subsequently launched a Twitter call for information and his body was found on the island on Monday

“I can’t believe this was an act of suicide. She was a strong woman and she left the house in a good mood,” Haider said “We cannot rule out foul play because she was threatened She left Pakistan because her home was searched more than twice Her uncle was killed She was threatened to quit activism and political activities, but she did not and fled to Canada “

Haider said a month ago he received several threatening social media posts after raising the issue of human rights violations and military operations in Balochistan

He said: “I was told my brothers and my wife could be targeted I did not take them seriously We often receive such trolls and threats when talking about human rights violations

“I can’t blame anyone right now We’re just waiting to hear from the police about their investigation”

Lateef Johar, a Baloch activist and close friend in exile in Canada, told the Guardian that police say Baloch’s body was found near a body of water “The police did not provide any further details. They did not tell us the cause of death or return Karima’s body”

Johar said he met Baloch on Thursday at the University of Toronto, where they were both students. They spoke on the phone on Friday “I don’t think it was an accident or an act of suicide,” he said. said Johar “We all feel threatened here Even after the murder of Sajid Hussain I am afraid when I find myself in a dark street”

Amnesty International said: “The death of activist Karima Baloch in Toronto, Canada is deeply shocking and must be investigated immediately and effectively The perpetrators must be brought to justice without recourse to the death penalty “

Since arriving in Canada, Baloch had continued to speak out against human rights violations in her home province and across Pakistan.She has regularly spoken at conferences, addressed the media and participated in protest rallies in Canada

“She had received threats from unknown Pakistani numbers on WhatsApp after the kidnapping of some Baloch students at the end of 2017”, said Johar “These threats also mentioned to me. She was asked to come back to Pakistan and she was told says if she returned the charges against her would be quashed and the abducted students would be released”

Swedish authorities have ruled out foul play in Hussain’s death but autopsy failed to confirm exact cause of death A family friend who saw the autopsy report and the police investigation told the Guardian: “The family were not convinced by the investigation and they asked the Swedish authorities for more evidence. Their request has not yet been accepted “

Karima Baloch

Ebene News – CA – Karima Baloch, Pakistani human rights activist, found dead in Canada

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/22/karima-baloch-pakistani-human-rights-activist-found-dead-in-canada