Protestors gathered outside Police Headquarters in downtown Toronto to demand justice for Karima Mehrab, also known as Karima Baloch, a human rights activist from Balochistan who was found dead on Sunday after having been initially reported as missing.
Baloch was outspoken against the Pakistani army and government, and their atrocities against the Baloch people. Fearing for her life, she fled to Canada in 2015. In 2016 the BBC named her one of the world's 100 most "inspirational and influential" women.
Baloch is not the first critic of the Pakistani government to go missing, and she believed that the Canadian government is giving refuge to members of the Pakistan army. She recently expressed fear for her life here in Canada.
Toronto Police Service, however, are treating her death as "non-suspicious" and viewing it as a possible suicide.
Many disagree, and are calling for an independent investigation into Baloch’s death.
Tahir Goda said "Karima was a very noble soul. She was a brave, brave woman fighting for human rights of the Baloch people in Balochistan. We know her body was found under suspicious circumstances. Her family says she has been murdered because she was threatened several times, even here in Canada, by Pakistani intelligence. We want the Toronto Police to do more of an investigation based on the death threats she was receiving."
One protestor said "There is no way her death was a suicide. There needs to be an independent investigation."
Others criticized the government for allowing Pakistani intelligence to take refuge in Canada.
Iranian protestor and former political prisoner Salman Sima was present in solidarity, saying "Karima Baloch was a refugee from Pakistan to Canada. I am a refugee. I escaped from another Islamic country. What does it mean that we don’t have safety in Canada? It's a very important issue, and the government at any level needs to investigate more. As a human rights activist, as a person fighting Sharia law, honestly I don't feel safe in Canada, and the government needs to take it seriously.”
In a statement to The Post Millennial, REACH UK said:
The helpless Baloch people have been crying for freedom of their country that was forcefully and deceitfully captured. They have suffered decades of abuse and torture at hands of a rogue Pakistani army (same army that sheltered Osama Bin Laden for many years near to its headquarters!).
The recent video and other social media messages are well documented. It is clearly on display how the Canadian PM has adopted the attitude of 'I Hear You but I will ignore you' and that is something which is very worrying. It is sending a very NEGATIVE global image of Canada. We want Justice and a proper investigation in highly suspicious death of a globally famous female activist- nothing less.
The protest ended peacefully and without incident.
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