Families of missing activists still hoping for their return

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 03 Apr 2019

Koh (left) and Amri

KUALA LUMPUR: The wives of both Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat are hoping that their husbands will be returned to them, safe and sound.

While they were glad that The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia's (Suhakam) made a decision to classify their abductions as "enforced disappearances", the families just want their loved ones back.

"We would like to see the perpetrators and those involved brought to book. We want to see justice and truth revealed.

"Today, we still do not know what actually happened to our husbands ... why they were taken," said Susanna Liew, Koh's wife.

Liew said she wants to meet either the Prime Minister or the Home Minister to discuss the case.

She is also mulling giving the government a period of six months to take action before initiating a civil suit against the authorities.

"This is not the end but the beginning of the fight for religious freedom and human rights. We want to see the people involved investigated and brought to justice," she said.

Similarly, Amri's wife Nurhayati Ariffin, asked if her husband will ever return.

"What about our status? My children are still young. What is their status?" she said tearfully.

Suhakam on Wednesday (April 3) announced that both Amri and Pastor Koh were victims of enforced disappearances, with evidence pointing to Bukit Aman as the culprit.

Suhakam commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai said there was direct and circumstantial evidence that proved on a balance of probabilities that he was abducted by Special Branch agents from Bukit Aman.

Koh, who founded the NGO Harapan Komuniti, was abducted by a group of men along Jalan SS4B/10 in Petaling Jaya on Feb 13, 2017, while on his way to a friend's house.

CCTV footage of the incident showed at least 15 men and three black SUVs involved in the abduction, which was done in a well-coordinated and "professional" style.

Amri, who was the founder of the NGO Perlis Hope, had left his home in Kangar at about 11.30pm on Nov 24, 2016, in his SUV.

His car was later found at the construction site of the Bukit Cabang Sports School in the wee hours of the following day.

The police were not present at the announcement of the findings.

The inquiry was held under Section 12(1) of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act, in connection with the disappearances of Amri Che Mat and Pastor Raymond Koh.

The panel of inquiry consists of commissioners Datuk Mah Weng Kwai as chairman, Prof Datuk Dr Aishah Bidin, and Dr Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleh.

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