Police quiz activists over foreign interference in Caged

Noel Achariam

(From left) Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh with Caged members Rama Ramanathan, Sevan Doraisamy and Thomas Fann outside Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, May 24, 2017.

POLICE today quizzed three activists over possible foreign interference in the establishment of Caged, which purpose is to find answers to the  the mysterious disappearance of four Malaysians.

Thomas Fann of Engage, Sevan Doraisamy of Suaram, and Rama Ramanathan of Bersih were called up to also explain statements they made that referred to the vanishing of Pastor Raymond Koh and three others over a period of six months as “enforced disappearances”.

The three, who are being investigated under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code for intent to cause public fear or alarm, gave their statements at the Bukit Aman headquarters. 

Fann said they cooperated with the police but declined to answer certain questions put to them. 

“We were asked over 20 questions on the formation of Caged. One of the question asked was whether there was any foreign instructions for us to form Caged.

“The police also wanted to know whether we are registered or not. Again, these are questions we will answer if we are charged in court,” he said outside Bukit Aman.

Their lawyer Ramkarpal Singh said the three were asked to record their statements as witnesses and not as suspects for now. 

“They are witnesses so the investigations are being carried out on that basis,” he said. 

Earlier today, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said a suspect was arrested last week in connection with Koh’s abduction. 

He said the suspect was arrested in a northern state. 

“We have to investigate. Not just the abduction but also the report that he (Koh) was converting Muslims,” Khalid said.

Caged stands for Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance.

Koh was abducted in Petaling Jaya on February 13 by 15 men in three black SUVs. The kidnapping, which took place in broad daylight, appeared well coordinated.

Joshua Hilmy, a pastor of Malay descent, and his wife Ruth, went missing on November 30 last year while Amir Che Mat vanished on the night of November 24 last year after he told his eldest daughter that he was going out.

Caged has sent a report of Koh’s disappearance to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances.

In international human rights law, a forced disappearance or enforced disappearance occurs when a person is secretly abducted or imprisoned by a state or political organisation or by a third party with the authorisation, support, or acquiescence of a state or political organisation. – May 24, 2017.

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