BNM urges Azerbaijan to investigate Baloch political refugee death case

Baloch National Movement (BNM) urged the Azerbaijan government to investigate the death of Saqib Karim, a Baloch political refugee in Baku.

The BNM Spokesperson said that the government of Azerbaijan should investigate Karim’s case, citing the fears that he might have been killed. He further said that Karim’s two brothers, who were residing in Balochistan, were killed in custody by the Pakistani army after being forcibly disappeared. After this incident, Karim was forced into exile.

The circumstances surrounding Saqib Karim’s death are still unclear, which is a matter of concern for the party and his family, the statement said.

The spokesperson said that it was a matter of great concern that after being insecure in Balochistan, the Balochs took refuge in foreign countries, but still, they were facing a similar situation there.

The Saqib Karim incident was not the first incident but even before that, the body of Banuk Karima Baloch, a political refugee and the leader of the Baloch National Movement, was found by the river in Canada. Moreover, the body of Baloch journalist and intellectual Sajid Hussain was recovered from Sweden.

The spokesperson claimed that the police couldn’t find any evidence of murder as they were drowned and according to the doctors, drowning erase the evidence of murder. “So the relevant police should also see if there was no reason to kill them, was it just a coincidence that the Baloch refugees drowned in a continuous process?” he asked.

The spokesman added that Saqib Karim’s two brothers, Shaheed Tariq Karim and Shaheed Asim Karim, were forcibly disappeared by Pakistani security forces and their mutilated bodies were dumped.

Other members of his family were also targeted. To protect himself from the oppression of the state of Pakistan, Saqib Karim sought refuge in a Gulf country and later moved to Azerbaijan to be registered with the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

The spokesperson expressed his doubts and said, “It is difficult to believe that it was an accidental death after what happened to his brothers, so we request to the government of Azerbaijan to consider the possibility of murder in his investigation because the Pakistani State intelligence agencies had previously targeted political opponents abroad.”

At the end of his statement, the Spokesperson said that the Pakistani army in Balochistan had been continuously forcibly disappearing Baloch political activists and their families as collective punishment and they were being extra-judicially killed. As a result, a large number of affected people were forced to seek refuge in countries other than neighboring Iran and Afghanistan.

In these circumstances, the discovery of the bodies of Baloch political activists in abroad was a matter of concern. The international community should investigate the incidents of Shaheed Sajid Hussain, Shaheed Banuk Karima, and Shaeed Saqib Karim and bring the reality of their suspicious death into light. Action needed to be taken, in case the forces involved in these incidents protected the lives of Baloch political refugees abroad.

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