Toronto police: Pakistani dissident death not suspicious

Toronto police: Pakistani dissident death not suspicious

TORONTO (AP) — Police in Toronto said Tuesday they are not treating the death of a prominent Pakistani dissident as suspicious.

Authorities said the body of Karima Mehrab was found on Monday near Toronto's downtown waterfront.

Mehrab, 37, had been reported missing a day earlier.

“It is currently being investigated as a non-criminal death and there are not believed to be any suspicious circumstances,” Toronto police spokeswoman Caroline de Kloet said.

Mehrab, also known as Karima Baloch, was granted asylum in Canada in 2016.

Police said she was known to frequent Toronto’s waterfront and island areas. Police offered few details.

Mehrab was a vocal critic of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, which are often accused by human rights activists of abducting activists in the country’s Baluchistan province and elsewhere in Pakistan.

She for years had campaigned for those people who go missing in Pakistan.

On Dec. 14 she took to Twitter, saying “Kidnap, torture, murder: the plight of Pakistan’s thousands of disappeared” as she shared a story by The Guardian.

Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan has for years been the scene of a low-level insurgency by small separatist groups and nationalists who complain of discrimination and demand a fairer share of their province’s resources and wealth.

Separatists frequently target security forces in Baluchistan, prompting authorities to detain suspects. Human rights activists often blame security forces of illegally holding people. Such detainees are usually not charged and do not appear in court, which has drawn protests from their families.

Pakistan’s High Commission in Canada said in a statement it approached the Canadian government to find out the cause of death.


Associated Press writer Ahmed Munir in Islamabad, Pakistan contributed to this report.

Updated : 2021-01-25 23:28 GMT+08:00