The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia have ruled out enforced disappearance in the case of missing Malay pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, who is from Indonesia. The couple went missing around the same time as Pastor Raymond, but unlike his case, there has been no police effort made to find them. Please continue to pray for Joshua and Ruth’s family.
The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) have ruled out enforced disappearance in the case of missing Malay pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, as they have not found any evidence to suggest it in their investigation.
Joshua and Ruth went missing on the 30 November 2016, just three months before Pastor Raymond Koh. Many believe that Joshua and Ruth’s disappearance is related to Pastor Raymond’s as the facts of the cases are very similar.
Since the human rights enquiry into their disappearance began in 2016, nothing has been done to locate the pastor and his wife. While enforced disappearance has been ruled out, the judge did highlight that the police were very slow in investigating this particular case.
For example, the investigating officer only lodged the report a month after it was initially brought to the attention of the police by Josiah Peter, a friend of Joshua and Ruth. Joshua also received threats from radical groups on social media, but nothing has been done to trace the source of these threats.
The panel also found that the police were trying to suppress this case from the Indonesian embassy. According to Ruth’s brother, the investigating officer failed to notify the embassy of Ruth’s disappearance when it was filed in 2016, and even now, Ruth’s family have not been notified of any new information.
21 August 2020
The case for missing Malay pastors, Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth Sitepu, was reopened on 12 August, after being put on hold due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in Malaysia. The couple were last seen on 30 November 2016; they went missing around the same time as Pastor Raymond Koh, and Muslim Amri Che Mat.
Friends and relatives continue to seek answers about Joshua and Ruth, Pastor Raymond and Amri Che Mat.
The case also reopened because a new box of documents was submitted to The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)’s public inquiry by Josiah Peter (25), who was one of the very first witnesses to the case.
Josiah and his sister were living with Joshua and Ruth prior to their disappearance. They were the first to notice that the couple had gone missing and filed in the report as soon as they could.
The siblings decided to take this box of documents with them when they left the house in April 2017 for safekeeping, as they were unsure of what to do with them.
I was uncertain whether to give it to the police as I didn’t know whether they would handle the documents properly,” says Josiah. “Knowing that the pastor and his wife were involved in religious activities, I was uncertain as to how to expose this information.”
After reading through some of the documents and email exchanges, Josiah quickly realised that Pastor Hilmy might have been threatened because of his ministry work. “They contained some threatening words,” he told the inquiry.
A few of the email exchanges were from Khairy Jamaluddin, a Malaysian politician who has been linked with Pastor Hilmy before, though he denied any form of interaction with the missing pastor.
“I was uncertain whether to give it to the police as I didn’t know whether they would handle the documents properly”Josiah
One of the emails read: “Don’t blame me if you get caught by them. I have already carried out my duty in informing the pastor.” The emailer also asked Joshua to rethink his beliefs, asking him to ‘think carefully’ before he regrets his ‘negative attitude that has threatened his life’.
Susanna Koh, wife of missing pastor Raymond Koh, has taken up a case against the government, based on SUHAKAM's findings. They are seeking to compel the government to identify and reveal the whereabouts of Raymond. They had the first hearing on Tuesday 11 August.
Susanna said, “The police had a lot of objections to our claims. And the lawyers have answered with a 20-page Statement of Defence. The next case management is on Sunday 20 September. If all goes well, we are going for pre-trial preparation.”
It is expected that this will be a long, drawn out case.
Please keep praying with us for Joshua and Ruth, Pastor Raymond Koh and Amri Che Mat and their families as the investigation into their disappearances continues.
It's been three years since Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted in broad daylight. His wife, Susanna, is suing the Malaysian police who have been implicated in the abduction.
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