Suhakam: Admit Enforced Disappearances Exist

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Suhakam has called on the government to acknowledge that cases of enforced disappearances do exist in Malaysia just as police say they are tracking down a witness related to the disappearance of social activist Amri Che Mat in November 2016.

Bukit Aman CID Special Investigation Unit (D5) principal assistant director Senior Asst Comm Mior Faridalathrash Wahid said police were looking for 41-year-old Saiful Bahari Abdul Aziz.

“Those with information about Saiful Bahari or his whereabouts can contact Insp Wan Ahmad Zakiman Wan Ismail at 013-711 7025,” he said in a statement recently.

Meanwhile, Suhakam points out that there are no rules relating to enforced disappearances of persons in Malaysia, and no provisions for any remedy if such incidents involved state actors.

“Cases of alleged enforced disappearances are often classified as missing persons, abduction or kidnapping.

“Thus, there is no official data on the number of such cases in Malaysia,” it said in a statement on Aug 29 in conjunction with the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances.

Suhakam said to effectively address the issue, it was important to acknowledge that cases of enforced disappearance exist.

The commission also expressed regret that the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the task force probing the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat were not made public.

Azlan Zamhari/Malaysiakini

“Suhakam is observing the progress of this probe closely,” it said.

The commission also said that the ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) would ensure legal recognition and remedies were put in place for such victims.

“It will also signal a commitment that enforced disappearances are unacceptable in Malaysia,” it said.

Koh went missing in 2017 after he was abducted by a group of men in Petaling Jaya.

Meanwhile, Amri, who was investigated for allegedly spreading Syiah teachings, has not been seen after he went out of his house in Kangar, Perlis, in 2016. – The Star