Wives of Missing Activists Want Their Husbands, Justice

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Though relieved to hear of Suhakam’s findings on the cases of their husbands, both Susanna Liew and Norhayati Ariffin remain in distress as the most important thing remains – to have their husbands returned safe and sound.

The wives of abducted pastor Raymond Koh and Perlis activist Amri Che Mat demanded to know if both men were still alive.

Liew, Koh’s wife, said their families deserve closure.

“We don’t know, are we widows?

Hari Anggara

“We hope that our husbands will be returned to us. If not, we want to know what has happened to them. We need closure,” Liew, along with Amri’s wife Norhayati Ariffin, told a press conference, yesterday.

Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) announced earlier its conclusion that both Koh and Amri were victims of enforced disappearance, with direct and circumstantial evidence of the Bukit Aman Special Branch unit’s involvement.

“We would like to see the perpetrators and those involved brought to book. We want to see justice and truth prevail.

“Today, we still do not know what actually happened to our husbands. Why they were taken,” said Liew as she held hands with Norhayati.

She also mulled giving the government a period of six months to take action before initiating a civil suit against the authorities.

She wished to meet either the Prime Minister or the Home Minister to discuss the case.

“This is not the end but the beginning of our fight for religious freedom and human rights. We want to see the people involved investigated and brought to justice,” she said.

Koh and Liew have three grown-up children.

Similarly, Amri’s wife Norhayati asked if their husbands will be returned.

“My children are still young. What are their status?” she asked tearfully.

Amri and Norhayati have four girls.

Suhakam announced that both Amri and Koh were victims of enforced disappearances, with evidence pointing to Bukit Aman as the culprit.

Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai, who chaired the inquiry, expressed his sorrow over the grief and anxiety the family had endured in the last three years.

“We apologise…we are sorry that we are unable to trace the whereabouts of Amri Che Mat,” said Mah.

Hasnoor Hussein/TMI

Norhayati held on to Liew as they both wept. They had earlier gripped each other’s hands as the panel delivered its grim verdict.


Earlier report: Apr 4, Findings of Suhakam Inquiry into Abduction – Enforced Disappearance