PETALING JAYA: A human rights NGO has demanded that the government release a special task force’s findings on enforced disappearances reported in 2019.
Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) executive director Sevan Doraisamy was referring specifically to the alleged enforced disappearances of Amri Che Mat, Raymond Koh, Joshua Hilmy and Ruth Sitepu.
Citing news reports, he noted that the task force submitted its report to the government at the end of February 2019, which then sealed the report “in the interest of national security”.
“This is presumably because it contains evidence of unsavoury aspects of policing in Malaysia,” he said in a statement today.
Sevan said the involvement of civil society caused the Malaysian human rights commission (Suhakam) to mount its investigation and the government to form the task force.
“But there is an outrage because the report (from the task force) has not led to, and is not leading to, reforms and prosecutions,” he said.
He also pointed out that despite Suhakam releasing its findings in the case of Joshua and Ruth four months ago, neither the police nor the government had spoken out regarding the action they would take.
Joshua, a Malay who had converted to Christianity, and his wife Ruth have been missing since November 2016.
“We urge the government to release the findings from the task force’s report,” Sevan said.
He said the government should also develop and publish an action plan, with scheduled dates, to inform the public about progress in implementing the recommendations by Suhakam and the task force.
The plan, he said, should include the establishment of institutional and standard operating measures for investigating missing persons, abductions and disappearances; the implementation of reviews and actions to assure all that the authorities respect the right of freedom of religion under Article 11(1) of the Federal Constitution; and the ratifying of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED).
“The concept of Keluarga Malaysia which the prime minister is promoting is a sham as long as the perpetrators of these serious crimes are not held accountable,” he said.