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It’s time for Malaysian government to explain pastor’s disappearance

It’s time for Malaysian government to explain pastor’s disappearance

Malaysian flag | Unsplash/mkrj_

Susanna Koh sent her husband off to work on Feb. 13, 2017, just like any other day. She hasn’t seen him since. It’s time — actually way past time — for Malaysia’s government to explain what happened.

Pastor Raymond Koh had been threatened before the day he was abducted. Several years ago, someone mailed him a box of bullets to let him know that his Christian ministry activities were being noticed. But it wasn’t bullets that made him disappear that sunny February day. According to Malaysia’s own Human Rights Commission, it was the Special Branch (intelligence unit) of the police.

The entire abduction was caught on a nearby security camera. While the police somehow overlooked this important video during their “investigation,” Pastor Raymond’s children discovered its existence while going door to door trying to learn what happened to their father. The abduction — you can watch it here — took less than 40 seconds. It was clearly a well-rehearsed, precise operation involving at least 13 men and five vehicles.

In the 30 months since the abduction, Malaysia’s voters have put a new government into power. The Human Rights Commission conducted an investigation of the “forced disappearance” of Raymond Koh and other religious figures, but no one has been held accountable or charged with a crime. And Pastor Raymond is still missing.

When I interviewed Susanna earlier this year for The Voice of the Martyrs Radio, she said the hardest part for her is not knowing whether Raymond is alive or dead, suffering or being cared for, healthy or in physical pain. She and their three children wake up every day wondering.

Last week The Voice of the Martyrs launched a petition drive to press the government of Malaysia and its top police commander for an explanation of what happened to Raymond Koh. In the first 48 hours, more than 10,000 people from all over the world added their voices to this call for justice.

You can add your voice at ReleaseRaymond.com.

I hope the growing chorus of voices from around the world will lead to Raymond’s freedom and a full explanation for his abduction. I hope the criminals will be brought to justice, even if they wear police uniforms. And I hope Susanna and her family will stop having to wonder, every hour of every day, what happened to Pastor Raymond Koh.

Todd Nettleton is a spokesperson for The Voice of the Martyrs and host of VOM Radio

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