01/12/2021 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) panel, working on the case of missing pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Sitepu, expressed today its disappointment in the authorities as they withheld certain evidence.
According to Free Malaysia Today, the third investigating officer tasked to probe Hilmy’s disappearance, Zulfadhly Yaacob, said there were two items requested by Suhakam that he could not produce because of orders from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
He said the reason given was that leaking or giving the information to third parties would hinder the police investigation and efforts to trace the victims and potential suspects. He also added that the deputy public prosecutor (DPP) involved said there was no proof that police had breached any human rights in their probe.
In response, Suhakam chief commissioner Hishamudin Yunus said the panel was unhappy with the given reason, since the inquiry had the power to demand the evidence to be produced as guaranteed under the Suhakam Act.
In addition, Suhakam was set up as the national human rights institution of Malaysia and established by the Malaysian Parliament. Its investigation is conducted in accordance to the law.
“There should be cooperation and sharing of information within government departments. If need be, we can go through the documents in camera. But we need that information to complete our investigation,” Yunus said.
Pastor Joshua Hilmy, who is ethnic Malay, disappeared along with his Indonesian wife on November 30, 2016. Joshua was a Muslim before converting to Christianity. Rights groups suspect that the couple might have been kidnapped for their outreach to Muslims.
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