Amri Che Mat’s wife files to declassify husband’s abduction report

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The wife of missing activist Amri Che Mat has filed for a judicial review to declassify a government report on her husband’s abduction five years ago.


Norhayati Mohd Ariffin filed an application on December 9 for the report to be declassified under the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA).

The report was prepared by a special task force investigating the alleged case of enforced disappearance by the police Special Branch.

The court will hear her application on January 12.

Norhayati is represented by lawyer Surendra Ananth, a statement issued on her behalf said today.

The task force was announced in May 2019 by then home minister Muhyiddin Yassin to look into the finding by the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) that Amri was taken by Special Branch officers.

The ensuring report was classified by the government.

Norhayati’s lawyer said there was no basis to treat the report as a secret.

“It is in the public interest to have the report disclosed. The right to information is a constitutional right, and classification of documents as secret should be the exception and not the norm,” Surendra said in the statement.

Norhayati is also challenging the constitutionality of the Schedule of the OSA as it is vague and infringes on the right to information.

Her judicial review application is connected to suit she filed in November 2019 against 21 defendants, including the government, home affairs minister, and police.

She is suing them for breach of law, breach of statutory duties, misfeasance in public office, and negligence.

Amri, who ran a welfare organisation called Perlis Hope, went missing on November 24, 2016, after leaving his home in Kangar, Perlis.

Another high-profile disappearance often associated with Amri’s is that of Koh, who was snatched by masked men in broad daylight while driving on Jalan SS4B/10 in Petaling Jaya, on February 13, 2017.

A public inquiry held by Suhakam concluded it is highly likely the two men were victims of enforced disappearance who were abducted by the Special Branch. –  TMI