KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances is observed on 30 August annually, as a reminder of the horrific violation of human rights caused by enforced disappearances upon victims, families and friends of the victims, and its chilling effects on the society.
Since 2010, the UN General Assembly has expressed its deep concern about the increase in enforced or involuntary disappearances in various regions of the world. Of a particular concern is the ongoing harassment of human rights defenders, relatives of victims, witnesses, and legal counsel dealing with cases of enforced disappearance.
SUHAKAM’s 2019 report on its public inquiry into the disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat concluded that enforced disappearance had, indeed, taken place.
SUHAKAM expresses its deepest concern and sympathies to the families of the victims and their loved ones for the grief, anxiety, and sadness arising from the enforced disappearances of Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat.
SUHAKAM notes that the Government had established a task force in 2019 to look into SUHAKAM’s findings from the public inquiry, and calls for the report of the task force to be made public so there may be some closure for those seeking answers to what had occurred.
In fact, SUHAKAM is currently also conducting its public inquiry into the disappearance of Joshua Hilmy and Ruth Sitepu, in response to complaint received from their family and friends.
SUHAKAM reiterates its call for the Government to accede to the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED) and to revisit its decision in relation to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
SUHAKAM hopes that the nation, will one day soon, ensure that adequate legal recognition and remedies are available for victims of enforced disappearances in the country; thereby demonstrating the Government’s commitment to not allow such an unthinkable act to take place, at any time, upon anyone in the country.