PETALING JAYA, Oct 6 — The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) will organise a 10-day public inquiry to determine the whereabouts of several missing individuals, to determine if the cases are “enforced disappearances”.
The commission’s chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said in a statement the inquiry would be held on several dates this month and November over the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, and social activist Amri Che Mat.
“To date Suhakam has recorded 35 statements from witnesses for all cases and the inquiry process is meant to answer questions, and to shine light on the situation.
“We seek to determine if these cases meet the criteria as defined under the International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances.
“The inquiry will be in accordance with section 12(1) of the Human Rights Commission Act and the panel will comprise commissioners Datuk Mah Weng Kwai as chairman, and Datuk Aishah Bidin and Nik Salida Suhaila Nik Saleh as legal experts,” said Razali.
The inquiry dates are October 19, 20, 30 and November 2, 3, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17, and will be held at Level 17 of the commission’s office at Jalan Sultan Ismail.
Razali said if the cases had indeed proven to be enforced disappearances, the next step would be to determine how they had taken place and who was responsible.
“We will work to identify the person or persons involved and their agency or agencies responsible for such a breach.
“We will also identify what administrative directives or procedures contributed to such alleged breaches,” he said.
Razali added the role and competency of the police in following up the investigations would be scrutinised and potential solutions weighed.
Koh was abducted on February 13 by a group of men along Jalan SS4B/10 here. They also made off with his car bearing the registration plate ST 5515 D.
In November last year, Amri was taken from his car after it was blocked by other vehicles in Perlis.
Hilmy and Ruth have been missing since late last year.