NGO may seek Jokowi’s help over Ruth Sitepu’s disappearance

The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) coordinator Yati Andriyani says the inquiry had revealed new information and the authorities should act on them.

KUALA LUMPUR: An Indonesian NGO against enforced disappearance has not ruled out getting their president, Joko Widodo or Jokowi, to pressure Putrajaya over the disappearance of Ruth Sitepu.

Ruth, who hails from Nambiki, North Sumatra, and husband, Joshua Hilmy, a Malay Muslim who converted to Christianity, have been missing for more than three years. They were last seen on Nov 30, 2016.

The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) said they have already raised the matter with their foreign affairs ministry.

“We could (approach Widodo) after this but we are waiting for the progress (on this case), out of respect for the Malaysian authorities.

“After the inquiry, if there is no progress, we will consider raising it up with the president,” KontraS coordinator Yati Andriyani told reporters after the Suhakam inquiry into Ruth and Joshua’s disappearance here.

Andriyani went on to say that the inquiry had uncovered many clues and hoped the Malaysian and Indonesian authorities will follow up on such information, rather than just relying on the testimony of those linked to the victims.

The two nations, she said, must also recognise that they have “almost failed” to resolve this case.

“This has been going on for three years and there is no progress in this case,” she said.

Andriyani said her NGO had been pressuring the Indonesian authorities since Ruth’s family approached them.

She says regardless of the background of the case and the “political situation”, the authorities have the obligation to resolve it.

“Whoever the perpetrators, whatever the issue, whether it is about freedom of religion, they have the obligation to resolve this case soon.”