Suhakam to hold public inquiry into Pastor Koh’s abduction
KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will be conducting a public inquiry into the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh and several others who went missing months ago.
Its chairman, Tan Sri Razali Ismail, said in a statement yesterday that the public hearings were tentatively scheduled to be held in October.
In accordance with the commission’s mandate, the inquiry will consider, among others, whether these are cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances, as defined under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.
Under the convention, an enforced disappearance is defined as the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the State.
“The inquiry will also consider whether the authorities, specifically the police, have taken adequate steps to investigate these cases,” he said.
The commission will also continue to gather information from all stakeholders, including the police and others who have been co- operative in finding the truth.
Koh was abducted by a group of masked men in Kelana Jaya on Feb 13. Closed-circuit television footage showed that at least 10 men and seven vehicles were involved in the kidnapping.
In June, police found pictures of a man, believed to be Koh, in a vehicle with the registration number ST5515D outside a house belonging to a man, who was shot dead by police during an operation at Kampung Weng Dalam in Baling.
The discovery shed light on the investigation into Koh’s abduction, which led police to arrest three drugs and firearms smuggling syndicate members in Kelantan, Perak and Pahang.
Police revealed that the drugs and firearms smuggling syndicate had been involved in the abduction of Koh.
Koh’s family members had offered a reward of RM10,000 for information on the incident. The reward was then raised to RM100,000.
Other than Koh, social activist Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmi and his wife, Ruth Hilmi, were also reported missing.
Amri, 44, was last seen on Nov 24 last year when five vehicles allegedly blocked the path of his car before he was taken away, just 550m from his home in Bukit Chabang, Perlis.
Joshua and Ruth were last seen on Nov 30 last year.
Tan Sri Razali Ismail