Amri, Koh targeted by religious authorities: Suhakam (Updated)

03 Apr 2019 / 10:53 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: There is a common feature that binds the abductions of pastor Raymond Koh and activist Amri Che Mat – both were targeted by religious authorities for allegedly being involved in activities that were deemed to be against Islam.

This was the conclusion drawn by the Suhakam inquiry panel on the disappearance of both men.

Koh was a pastor at the Evangelical Free Church in Petaling Jaya from 1994 to 2004. He later formed Harapan Komuniti with two others to carry out social and charity work.

On Aug 3, 2011, Harapan Komuniti hosted a Thanksgiving fundraising event at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church.

Based on allegations that several Muslims were also at the event, the police and officials from the Selangor State Islamic Affairs Department raided the the event.

The authorities later confirmed that Harapan Komuniti was being investigated for proselytising Muslims.

Amri was born and brought up as a Sunni Muslim. However, he later took an interest in Shiaism, whose followers adhere to beliefs that contrast significantly from those of the Sunni faith.

He was also one of the founders of Perlis Hope, an organisation that undertook to assist the poor and needy in the community regardless of religion or creed.

However, there was also suspicion that Perlis Hope was a Shia organisation. Amri’s home, which was adjacent to the office of Perlis Hope, was later inspected by the mufti of Perlis and his officers, accompanied by officers from the Special Branch.

The inquiry concluded that the activities carried out by Koh and Amri were under surveillance by the authorities.

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