Authorities must act swiftly and investigate the series of incidents in which activists have gone missing, National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said today.
“This is the latest in a series of such incidents where the abduction and disappearance, in some circumstances, indicate the use of extra legal means by highly trained individuals.
“This has caused disquiet in the country over the last several months, as such incidents are unheard of in Malaysia,” she said in a statement, referring to news this morning that former Petaling Jaya city councillor Peter Chong has been reported missing by his family.
Aside from Chong, other recently missing activists include Perlis Hope founder Amri Che Mat, Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, and Pastor Raymond Koh.
All were abducted separately since November.
“In international human rights law, such abductions are called ‘forced disappearances’ which are defined as secret abductions with the tacit support of the state or other organisation. This is followed by a refusal to acknowledge the person’s fate and whereabouts thus putting the person outside the protection of the law.
“Such heinous acts are a breach of international human rights laws and undermine the rule of law,” Ambiga added.
She said authorities must be seen to be investigating these disappearances, and that Malaysians did not want such cases to become the norm.
“We sincerely hope the police will use their utmost efforts so that that all abductees will be returned as soon as possible to their families.
“We also urge Suhakam to act urgently to address this mater directly with the police and the Minister of Home Affairs.”
Source : @ Malay Mail Online