Whereabouts of Pastor Abducted in February 2017 Remain Unknown
04/03/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that on April 3, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) announced that the special police intelligence team was involved in the abduction of Pastor Raymond Koh. Koh was kidnapped by a group of men in Petaling Jaya, while on his way to visit a friend, on February 13, 2017. His abduction in a military-precision operation led many to believe that it was orchestrated by the former Najib administration, possibly linked to accusations of him proselytizing to Muslims.
According to Commissioner Datuk Mah Weng Kwai, the disclosure is a result of the panel’s findings with regards to Koh’s abduction. “The direct and circumstantial evidence in Pastor Raymond Koh’s case proves, on a balance of probabilities, that he was abducted by State agents, namely the Special Branch [from] Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur,” Suhakam’s report reads.
Mah added that the conclusion came from the wife of also-missing Shiite activist Amri Che Mat, who said the Special Branch officer Mohd Shamzaini Mohd Daud told her that the disappearances of both Koh and Amri were carried out by Bukit Aman’s Special Branch.
The police’s refusal to acknowledge this and the fact that they reclassified Koh’s case as an enforced disappearance, rather than an abduction, further prove that the state was responsible for his disappearance.
According to Malaymail, the inquiry panel subsequently made several recommendations, including the formation of a special task force to re-investigate Koh’s disappearance, the separation of powers between the police and religious authorities, and reforms to the police’s standard operating procedures.
Pastor David Low, chairman of the Evangelical Free Church of Malaysia, of which Pastor Raymond Koh was previously a pastor, told ICC, “Thanks for journeying and praying for the family. Let’s continue to pray that the government will have the gumption to take the next steps as recommended by Suhakam.”
Gina Goh, ICC’s Regional Manager, said, “ICC welcomes Suhakam’s report and urges the government to do the right thing: thoroughly investigate, convict the responsible individuals, and return Pastor Raymond Koh to his family as soon as possible.”
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