Dozens join vigil in Dataran Merdeka for Pastor Koh, Amri

Source: FreeMalaysiaToday

A banner by activist group CAGED showing the four people who have disappeared under mysterious circumstance, (from left) social activist Amri Che Mat, Pastor Raymond Koh, and Pastor Joshua Hilmi and wife, Ruth. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, October 10, 2017.

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 60 people gathered at Dataran Merdeka tonight in solidarity with the families of missing activists Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat.

Susanna Liew and Norhayati Ariffin, the wives of Koh and Amri, stood hand in hand consoling each other, as they pleaded for their husbands’ return.

“Return our husbands to us!” they cried out, standing in one corner of the iconic square. “Give our children their fathers back!” said Norhayati.

Liew thanked those who came, and repeated her plea for information on her husband’s mysterious abduction in broad daylight early last year. Read more

No excuse for Poca threat, say human rights groups

Source: FMT News

Paulsen: LFL is against all forms of preventive detention. Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Several human rights groups have criticised Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s warning that enforcement authorities will not hesitate to use preventive laws to detain those suspected of involvement in money-laundering activities.

The Citizen Action Group On Enforced Disappearance (CAGED), Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) and Bersih 2.0 agreed that a lack of witnesses or insufficient evidence was no excuse to put suspects under detention without a fair trial.

This came after Zahid said the police, in particular, would not compromise when acting against those who allegedly participate in illegal activities such as misusing bank accounts to make illicit payments.

“If there are no witnesses brave enough to provide information, or if there is insufficient evidence to press criminal charges against the suspects, the police will not be lenient in using the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 (Poca),” he was quoted as saying. Read more

Castrating rapists a ‘barbaric act’, say human rights groups

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Human rights groups are opposed to a proposal that rapists be castrated as a form of punishment, urging authorities not to resort to such “violent” measures.

The proposal in question was discussed a meeting involving the Sarawak state government yesterday.

Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (CAGED) spokesperson Thomas Fann said criminal justice is a federal matter and not for any one state to discuss or decide on.

“Any irreversible procedure like castration, amputation or the death penalty should not be considered, given that no human justice system is perfect and infallible,” Fann said to FMT.

Adding that “punishment alone won’t stop such crimes”, he said it was more important to understand why sexual crimes are committed and what mechanisms can be used to ensure that victims can safely report their situations. Read more

IGP: Cops probing group for linking authorities in cases of missing activists

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 ― Police are investigating a group for alleging that the authorities are involved in several cases of missing activists, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said today.

Khalid said the matter is being investigated under Section 504 (b) of the Penal Code, which deals with the intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.

“This is a serious allegation and we will not allow them to take this opportunity to make baseless accusations.

“If you have evidence, bring it to us and we will take action. Don’t try to ‘spin’ the situation by making it seem as though the authorities are involved,” he said to reporters during a press conference held at the Federal police headquarters today. Read more

Human rights group calls for investigation into abductions

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has urged Malaysian authorities to conduct swift and impartial investigations into two cases of disappearances.

FIDH made the call after submitting the cases of missing persons Pastor Raymond Koh and social activist Amri Che Mat to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID).

WGEID receives and reviews cases of enforced disappearance and transmits them to governments concerned to request that an investigation be carried out.

Between 1980 and 2016, WGEID received only reports of disappearances in Malaysia. Neither case is still open.

“It is extremely troubling that the spectre of enforced disappearance has reared its ugly head in Malaysia,” said FIDH president Dimitris Christopoulos in a statement on Tuesday.

“Malaysian authorities must immediately investigate the disappearance of Amri Che Mat and Raymond Koh in order to determine their whereabouts and safely return them to their families,” he said. Read more