Police accused of abducting Malaysian pastor, activist

Human rights body says Special Branch was behind disappearances of Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat
Police accused of abducting Malaysian pastor, activist

Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted by a group of men in Kuala Lumpur in February 2017. (Photo from freemalaysiatoday.com)

ucanews.com reporter, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
April 4, 2019
A Malaysian human rights body has concluded that police were involved in the disappearances of a pastor and a social activist.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) claimed on April 3 that at least two missing persons — activist Amri Che Mat and Pastor Raymond Koh — were victims of enforced disappearances.

Mah Weng Kwai, chairman of a panel that has investigated disappearances in the Muslim-majority country, said that based on lengthy discussions and deliberations in both cases, they could only conclude that individuals or groups operating with the support of state agents had been involved in the abductions.

"The panel is of the considered view that the enforced disappearance of Amri was carried out by agents of the state,” he said, naming the police headquarters and its intelligence gathering unit, the Special Branch, as perpetrators of the extrajudicial abductions.

"The direct and circumstantial evidence in Koh's case also proves that he was abducted by the Special Branch."

Amri, who was the founder of non-governmental organization Hope, reportedly went missing after he left his home in Kangar, the capital of Perlis, a state bordering southern Thailand, at about 11.30 p.m. on Nov. 24, 2016.

The vehicle he was driving was "boxed in" and about an hour later the vehicle was found abandoned at a construction site in Kangar.

Koh was last seen by his wife Susanna on Feb. 13, 2017, at about 10.15 a.m.

It was reported that Koh was abducted by a group of men in a leafy suburb of the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur while on his way to a friend's house.

A widely circulated CCTV clip appears to show his abduction was similar to Amri’s. A convoy of black SUVs and motorcycles is seen surrounding his car by the side of the road. Several men jump out and move to his vehicle. The convoy moves off along with his car. It was the last time anyone saw him.

Suhakam began its public inquiry into several missing persons on Aug. 9, 2017.

Malaysian pastor Joshua Hilmy and his Indonesian wife Ruth Sitepu were last seen on Nov. 30, 2016, and are believed to be victims of enforced disappearance.

The Jakarta Post in a report on April 1 said that Sitepu’s younger brother Iman Setiawan Sitepu recently wrote an open letter to Indonesian president Joko Widodo to pressure Malaysian authorities to find her.

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