PM, AG urged to seek immediate release of activist Amri and Pastor Koh

Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong has called for action against those responsible for the duo’s enforced disappearance.

KUALA LUMPUR: Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong has called on the prime minister and the attorney-general to ensure the release of Amri Che Mat and Pastor Raymond Koh who, a Suhakam inquiry found, were abducted by the Special Branch.

He also echoed the call for action against those responsible for the duo’s enforced disappearance.

The New Malaysia, he said, must never tolerate enforced disappearances, largely used by military dictatorships and banana republics.

Kua said the finding of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia, better known as Suhakam, that Amri and Koh, who vanished in 2016 and 2017 respectively, were victims of enforced disappearance “is the most serious indictment against the Malaysian police to date”

The human rights activist noted in a statement that Suhakam had also concluded that the perpetrators were members of the Special Branch.

“Throughout the years since the enforced disappearance of these men, the police and the home ministry have maintained an unacceptable nonchalance. They have consistently refused to acknowledge that they played any role in the abduction and/ or whereabouts of the disappeared persons. Now they have been fingered as the abductors of these two hapless men.

“Those in the Special Branch, the IGP (inspector-general of police) as well as the home ministry who ordered the abductions must be brought to book.”

Enforced disappearance refers to the arrest, detention or abduction of a person, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the fate of that person. In this case, Suhakam has concluded that the Special Branch perpetrated the crime.

“Enforced disappearance is frequently used as a strategy to spread terror within society. The feeling of insecurity and fear it generates is enormous for the close relatives of the disappeared, and also affects communities and society as a whole. Those most at risk include human rights defenders, relatives of those already disappeared, key witnesses and lawyers,” Kua said.