Suhakam: Inquiry into couple’s disappearance to start soon

  • Nation
  • Monday, 27 Jan 2020

PETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam) public inquiry into the disappearance of Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Sitepu will start in February.

The Panel of Inquiry will be chaired by Commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Hishamudin Yunus and assisted by Commissioners Jerald Joseph and Dr Madeline Berma.

The hearings will commence from Feb 18

at Suhakam’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

Suhakam has called for individuals with relevant and important information to come forward to have their statements recorded from now until Feb 14.

“Through this inquiry, Suhakam intends to fully investigate to its best ability what has transpired in order to identify and make the best possible recommendations to the appropriate parties.

“Notwithstanding Suhakam’s investigation, the Commission calls on the authorities to fully and expeditiously investigate all cases where there is a reasonable suspicion that an enforced disappearance may have occurred.

“Suhakam underlines that ready availability of information on issues of public concern is of vital importance in a democratic society with an avowed commitment to transparency, ” it said in a statement yesterday.

Suhakam initiated investigations under Section 12(1) of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act.

Ruth, who is Indonesian, was reported missing along with Hilmy, back in November 2016, with her family saying she had not responded to their messages or calls since then.In April last year, a Suhakam inquiry concluded that Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat were victims of “enforced disappearance by state agents”.

In announcing the findings of the public inquiry on April 3, Suhakam had said there was “direct and circumstantial evidence which proves, on balance of probabilities, that he was abducted by state agents, by Special Branch, Bukit Aman”.

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