Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Human rights NGO demands govt to come clean on enforced disappearances claims

NewsHuman rights NGO demands govt to come clean on enforced disappearances claims

Human rights NGO Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) has demanded the government release a special task force’s findings on enforced disappearances reported in 2019.

Sevan also called on the government to impose better exercises to combat and investigate such crimes. 

In a statement, Suaram executive director Sevan Doraisamy said the government’s Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) concept is just make-believe due to the lack of initiative to bringing justice to cases of enforced disappearance.

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”.

He was referring specifically to the alleged enforced disappearances of Amri Che Mat, Raymond Koh, Joshua Hilmy and Ruth Sitepu.

“This is presumably because it contains evidence of unsavoury aspects of policing in Malaysia,” he said.

Sevan then pointed out that despite the Malaysian human rights commission (Suhakam) releasing its findings in the case of Joshua and Ruth 4 months ago, the authorities and the government had yet to speak out regarding the action they would take.

Joshua, who is a Malay 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 need to come up with an action plan with scheduled dates to inform the public about progress in implementing the recommendations by Suhakam and the task force.

He elaborated that it 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).

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