Joshua and Ruth – ‘a case of enforced disappearances’

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Suhakam has concluded that the disappearance of Joshua Hilmy and Ruth Sitepu was a “case of enforced disappearances”.

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hakam commissioner Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Yunus said their disappearance was carried out by a person or persons unknown under the acquiescence of the authorities.

“Although the panel did not find evidence that they were abducted by state agents, it did, however, note that negligence by the authorities to investigate the case diligently had hampered the investigation progress,” he said after releasing findings on the public inquiry on their disappearance on Friday (April 15).

“(There was a) lack of coordination by the police and it was not seriously and efficiently supervised by the management in the police force.

“It is the findings of the panel that it was a sloppy and tardy police investigation.”

Meanwhile, the family of Ruth Sitepu says they would accept any news about her – even if it were to be about her remains – and find closure over her disappearance in 2016.

“We just want closure. If they are indeed dead, please return her body or even her bones to us,” Ram Ram Elisabeth, the sister of Ruth who disappeared along with her husband Pastor Joshua Hilmy, said in a statement.

Ram Ram said she strongly believes that there are people who know what happened to her sister and Joshua.

Joshua, who is from Taiping, was a Muslim before converting to Christianity while his wife Ruth was from Indonesia.

Ram Ram also expressed her gratitude for the commitment of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) along with the support from both Malaysians and Indonesians who had come forward to help.

The Indonesian embassy to Malaysia, meanwhile, said that the Malaysian government had to conduct a more thorough investigation and bring the perpetrator to justice.

“We urge the Malaysian government not to rest until the case is solved, as the family of Ruth Sitepu, as well as the public in Indonesia and Malaysia, deserve to know the truth and restore peace in their lives,” it said in a statement.