Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Suhakam to probe disappearance of Pastor Koh and others

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The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will conduct a public inquiry in October into the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh, social activist Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Hilmi.

"In accordance with Suhakam's mandate, the inquiry will consider, among others, whether these cases are cases of enforced or involuntary disappearances, as defined under the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED)," the commission said in a statement today.

ICPPED defines enforced disappearance 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 instrument was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006. Malaysia is not a party to the ICPPED.

Suhakam said the inquiry would also consider whether the authorities, specifically the police, have taken adequate steps to investigate the disappearances. 
"Suhakam will continue to gather information from all stakeholders, including the police and others who have been cooperative towards finding some truth on the matter," the commission said.
Suhakam believes the disappearances to be a public interest issue and thus warranted investigations.
Koh was abducted by masked men in broad daylight on Feb 13. Che Amri, Joshua and Ruth reportedly went missing on Nov 24 last year.

Last month, the police announced that they had made a breakthrough in Koh's case, claiming they now believed that a group from Southern Thailand was linked to the abduction.

~ Malaysiakini

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