Act against the police over enforced disappearance cases, Putrajaya told

Act against the police over enforced disappearance cases, Putrajaya told

PUCHONG: International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) is calling for Putrajaya to take action against the police following the damaging conclusion of the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) over the enforced disappearances of pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Che Mat.

“The Suhakam’s findings mark a crucial step towards ensuring that the truth about the enforced disappearances of Amri Che Mat and Raymond Koh is revealed and the perpetrators are punished. It must be noted that the police were less than cooperative with the SUHAKAM’s inquiry and did not attend the announcement of its findings.

“The Mahathir government should make a complete break with the previous administration and immediately end impunity for this heinous crime,” said FIDH secretary-general Debbie Stothard in a statement.

“After the Suhakam’s damning conclusion, the government can no longer bury its head in the sand,” said Suaram executive director and Caged member Sevan Doraisamy.

“An independent and impartial investigation into the Special Branch’s involvement in the enforced disappearances of Amri Che Mat and Raymond Koh must be immediately undertaken in order to determine their fate or whereabouts,” he added.

Both Caged and Suaram are members of the FIDH.

Yesterday Suhakam commissioner Mah Weng Kwai concluded that the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and Perlis Hope founder Amri Che Mat was due to the involvement of Bukit Aman’s Special Branch.

The Special Branch was at that time led by the current Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Fuzi Harun.

Raymond was abducted on Feb 13, 2017 in Petaling Jaya, Selangor whereas Amri was abducted on Nov 24, 2016 in Kangar, Perlis.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad brushed off Suhakam’s conclusions as mere hearsay.

I think they must produce some evidence. This is merely hearsay, I don’t know whether they have evidence to prove that this was what happened,” he said.

He also said that Fuzi should be allowed to retire before the police investigates Suhakam’s findings.

Former Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi meanwhile denied that he directed the Special Branch to abduct both the individuals.

‘Set up IPCMC’

 Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh had called for Fuzi’s suspension and investigation into the findings whereas his DAP counterpart Charles Santiago also called for the setting up of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC).

Two groups, G25 and Patriot, today, also called for the setting up of IPCMC.

“We strongly believe that the government should establish the IPCMC without further delay so that there is an independent body with close oversight of police functions and which can conduct an immediate inquiry into incidents that give rise to concerns over abuse of police powers,” they said in a joint statement today.

“For example, any death of police detainees in lock- up cells must be immediately investigated by the IPCMC. Any police shooting of suspects should be investigated to determine if it was justified.

“All police forces in advanced countries have such a system of monitoring and verification to give confidence to the public that their interests against abuse of power are safeguarded.”

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