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Activists questioned over statements on missing pastor

 | May 24, 2017

The three say they will only answer police in court and maintain their assertion that Pastor Koh's abduction was an 'enforced disappearance'.

Aktivis-terlibat-pencarian-orang-hilang-berdiam-diri-ketika-disoal-polisKUALA LUMPUR: Three social activists remained tight-lipped during questioning by police today regarding their statements on the “enforced disappearance” of Pastor Raymond Koh.

The pastor was reported missing more than three months ago.

The trio were Thomas Fann, Sevan Doraisamy and Rama Ramanathan who are members of the Citizen Action Group On Enforced Disappearance (Caged), which was formed early this month.

Thomas, who is the chief spokesman for Caged, said the police officers who questioned the three put about 20 questions to them, including one on the establishment of Caged.

He said all three told the police officers they would only give answers to the questions in court.

They were called to explain a media conference held on May 5 to launch Caged, a coalition of NGOs.

“The police wanted to know whether we received instructions from foreign parties to set up Caged.

“They also wanted to know whether we were registered or otherwise. All their questions, we told them, would be answered in court,” he told reporters outside Bukit Aman here.

The three activists were called up following their earlier media statements that the cases of missing activists should be viewed as “enforced disappearances”.

Caged did not provide evidence to support the assertion, but pointed to the fact that there were no ransom demands in any of the cases.

Apart from Koh, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, as well as social activist Amri Che Mat have been reported missing. Koh’s abduction in broad daylight was captured by surveillance cameras.

Fann claimed that based on CCTV footage and eye witness accounts in the cases of Koh and Amri, it appeared that the abductors were professionally trained “as if they were former special forces”.

Today, Fann defended his use of the term “enforced disappearance”.

He referred to the international human rights’ definition of the term as abduction by agents of the state or those authorised by the state.

This morning, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said the three activists who alleged the authorities were behind the abduction of Koh would be called for questioning under Section 504B of the Penal Code.

“These activists have accused the authorities of being involved, so we want to know what proof they have.

“If they have proof, come forward. Don’t just fool around with accusations because this is serious,” the IGP said.

Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh, who accompanied the three activists, said the trio were investigated under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, which involved making statements “conducing to mischief”.

“For the time being, the three are asked to provide information as witnesses and not considered suspects,” he said.

Fann also said Caged would hold a rally this Saturday at Dataran Merdeka here from 8.30pm to highlight the recent disappearances.

“The rally will be held every month on the last Saturday and all concerned are welcome to attend,” he said.

Yesterday marked the 100th day since Koh went missing with no trace although the IGP announced today the arrest of a suspect from a state in the north to help in police investigations.

Koh, 62, was abducted by a group of masked men at Jalan SS4B/10, less than 100 metres from the Kelana Jaya police housing complex in Petaling Jaya, on Feb 13.

He was driving to the home of a friend in Kelana Jaya. CCTV recordings of the incident showed that more than 10 men and seven vehicles were used to grab the pastor.

The family of Koh has offered a reward of RM100,000 for information on his whereabouts.


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