The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) will conduct a public inquiry into the disappearance of Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife, Ruth Hilmy next month.
The commission said any individual with important and relevant information in regards to the disappearance of the duo could come forth and have their statements recorded from now on until Feb 14.
The panel of inquiry will be chaired by Commissioner Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Yunus and assisted by Commissioner Jerald Joseph and Dr Madeline Berma.
The hearing will commence on Feb 18, Suhakam said in a statement.
Through the inquiry, Suhakam intends to fully investigate the disappearance of the husband and wife.
It said that at the end of the inquiry Suhakam will make the best possible recommendations to the appropriate parties, whilst assisting the authorities with their ongoing investigation.
“The Commission also calls on the authorities to fully and expeditiously investigate all cases where there is reasonable suspicion of enforced disappearance,” it said.
Suhakam underlines that ready availability of information on issue of public concern was of vital importance in a democratic society with an avowed commitment to transparency.
Little is known about the disappearance of the Hilmy couple except that they were last seen on Nov 30, 2016 and reported missing on March 6, 2017.
Neither is much known about police investigations into the duo’s disappearance.
According to Ruth’s family, which hails from Indonesia, she had come to Malaysia in 2000 to work as a seamstress when she met Joshua. The couple married in 2004.
Ruth is a Christian while Joshua is a Christian convert from Islam.
Her family has since publicly appealed to Indonesian President Joko Widodo to pressure Malaysian authorities to find her.
The inquiry comes after Suhakam conducted two inquiries into missing pastor Raymond Koh and Perlis Hope founder Amri Che Mat, which concluded that they are cases of “enforced disappearance”.