Naveed Baloch, the man initially suspected of perpetrating the Berlin terror attack has spoken out about his wrongful detention by German police, and says he now fears for his life.
More than a week ago on Dec. 19, German police detained Baloch, 24, the same evening that a lorry careered into a Christmas market in the German capital killing 12 and injuring 48.
In the initial chaos following the ISIL-inspired attack, Baloch’s name and photo was widely circulated. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said at the time Baloch was the police’s prime suspect.
Except Baloch hadn’t driven the truck and police soon had reasons to they had arrested the wrong man .
Nevertheless, and speaking exclusively to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, Baloch said he was released after two days and one night of interrogation. He said German police had blindfolded him, undressed him, photographed him, slapped him and taken numerous blood samples.
By this time, German police were already searching for Anis Amri , a Tunisian man whose ID was found inside the cab of the lorry.
Baloch arrived in Germany in February after a three month journey that took him through Iran, Turkey and Greece. He is from Balochistan and says he is part of a marginalised Pakistani secular separatist movement. He has a pending asylum claim with German authorities.
Since his arrest, Baloch says he is fearful and living in hiding in Germany. He says that his family in Pakistan, already targeted by Pakistani security authorities, has received threatening phone calls.
Baloch told the Guardian newspaper both he and his family agreed they’d feel safer if they spoke out about their ordeal.
You can read more about Baloch’s account, as reported in the Guardian here.