Act on ‘alarming’ Suhakam inquiry revelations, NGO tells home minister

1st Jun 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The NGO Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (CAGED) today urged Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to act on the “alarming revelations” in Suhakam’s public inquiry into the disappearance of social activist Amri Che Mat and Pastor Raymond Koh.

It called on Muhyiddin and the Pakatan Harapan government to provide protection and immunity from prosecution or disciplinary action to Sargeant Mohd Shamzaini Mohd Daud and other potential whistle-blowers in these abductions.

This is because the NGO thinks Shamzaini may have been pressured to deny what he had told the wife of Amri, especially that policemen were involved in the abduction of her husband.

On May 15, CAGED said, Amri’s wife Norhayati Mohd Ariffin made a police report in Shah Alam claiming Shamzaini of the Special Branch in Perlis had come to her house on May 12 to give her new information about the abduction of Amri and of Koh.

In her sworn statement to Suahakam and in her statement to the police, Norhayati said Shamzaini told her he was revealing the information to her now because there was a change in the government, various police “higher ups” had already been named publicly during the Suhakam inquiry and his conscience compelled him to do so.

“We recount here six claims made by Shamzaini, who seeks no monetary reward: (1) Amri had been under police surveillance before he was abducted; (2) the Perlis police had planned to abduct Amri, but they were pre-empted by ‘Bukit Aman’; (3) the investigation officer in the Amri case gave false testimony to the inquiry about the involvement of a gold coloured Toyota Vios car which witnesses connected with the abduction of Amri and is seen in the video of the abduction of Koh; (4) the ‘same (police) team’ abducted Amri and Raymond; (5) senior Special Branch officer DCP Awaluddin Jalid led the operations and (6) ex-IGP Khalid (Abu Bakar) knows more about the abductions than he has admitted during the Suhakam inquiry.”

CAGED said the 140-minute conversation between Norhayati and Shamzaini was witnessed by one of her daughters and that both mother and daughter made notes of the conversation immediately after he left.

“Also, minutes after ending the conversation with Shamzaini, Norhayati initiated a WhatsApp discussion about the conversation with two of Amri’s close associates. They even convened immediately at her home to discuss how to respond to it – they only departed her home at 3.30 am on May 13.

“Both Norhayati and her daughter observed that Shamzaini was edgy, nervous and fearful of being detected. Norhayati told the inquiry that he placed his motorcycle out of sight of prying eyes and also spoke to her from behind a column such that he could not be noticed by any passing police patrols. He was outdoors while she, a woman alone, remained indoors with her daughter. They spoke through an opening”

CAGED said today, however, the police told the inquiry that three days after Norhayati made her report and issued a press statement, Shamzaini had made a police report in which he had denied everything in Norhayati’s report.

“CAGED points out to the home minister that the note-taking, WhatsApp conversation and late night response meeting indicate that Norhayati did not fabricate the conversation or the information which springs from it.

“CAGED is deeply concerned that pressure may have been brought to bear on Sergeant Shamzaini to refute what he very likely said to Norhayati on May 12.”

The NGO said despite prior recommendations to the police to establish whistle-blower protection for police whistle-blowers, no such protection existed.

“The home minister and Pakatan Harapan government must bring to a close once and for all this dark chapter in our nation’s history. The abductees must be found and justice must be served.”

Amri, who co-founded an NGO called Perlis Hope, has been missing since Nov 24, 2016. His wife previously said that five vehicles had blocked his car before he was whisked away, some 500 metres from their home in Bukit Chabang, Perlis.

Koh’s abduction on Feb 13 last year was caught on closed circuit TV cameras, showing several men in balaclavas using black SUVs to block his car in broad daylight. He has not been seen since.

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