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Christian charity calls for answers over kidnapped Malaysian pastor

by Heather Preston
Kidnapped Pastor Raymond Koh Picture Release International and Koh family THUMB.jpg - Banner image
Release International

A Christian charity is calling on the Malaysian government to release an abducted pastor on the third anniversary of his disappearance.

Pastor Raymond Koh was snatched off the streets in Selangor on 13th February 2017 and has not been seen since.

CCTV cameras captured the attack where around 15 men in black SUVs blocked a major road, bundled Koh out of his car and into another vehicle and abducted him in under a minute.

Pastor Koh's wife Susannah said the "well-organised and military style" of the operation suggested it was "a case of enforced disappearance" by the authorities.

"End of last year, one of the officers confessed that this abduction was done by the police," she added.

Freedom charity Release International are pressing Malaysian authorities to conduct an investigation into Koh's disappearance.

Islam is the majority religion in Malaysia and by law citizens must be Sunni Muslim, regardless of their ethnic heritage.

Andrew Boyd from Release International said there have been a number of incidents where Pastor Koh has been victimised for his Christian faith.

"Pastor Koh has been accused at different times of attempting to convert Muslims in 201. He and his wife were threatened and received bullets through the post in a letter in the Malay language warning them off."

In 2019, Malaysia's Human Rights Commission accused the Malaysian Special Branch of carrying out two abductions - that of Pastor Koh and Amri Che Mat, a Shia Muslim social activist. Both were suspected of trying to convert Sunni Muslims. 

An investigation was set up by the government but no information on Pastor Koh's whereabouts has been given since his disappearance. 

Release International has launched a petition calling on Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad and the Inspector General of Police to provide an explanation for Pastor Koh's abduction and free him from captivity.

"We're demanding Pastor Raymond's immediate release and safe return to his family," said Release International CEO Paul Robinson. "And we're calling for justice. Those responsible for his disappearance must be held accountable."

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