Name: Raymond Koh
Country/Area of Origin: Malaysia
Background: Pastor Raymond Koh is a Christian pastor of Evangelical Free Church and has been on the receiving end of some threats before: in 2011, he was accused of evangelism and had received a death threat.
Reason for Arrest:
CCTV recordings revealed that Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted on February 13, 2017 while he was driving in Selangor. The video shows a few large black SUVs surrounding Pastor Koh’s cars and eventually coercing him to stop driving. Those driving the SUVs approached the vehicle with Pastor Koh in it before kidnapping him and driving away.
Because of the organization and professionalism of the abduction and because of the harassment Pastor Koh has faced for his religious activism, his wife, Susanna, believes that he was kidnapped by state authorities, though it has not yet been confirmed.
- On 2 April 2021, Citizens Against Enforced Disappearances (CAGED) urged the Malaysian government to publish the findings of the investigation by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia’s (Suhakam). Previously, the Suhakam found that the Royal Malaysia Police’s Special Branch was responsible for Pastor Koh’s abduction.
- The Voice of the Martyrs launched a website regarding Pastor Koh’s case, at https://www.releaseraymond.com/
- On November 23, 2020, it was announced that USCIRF Commissioner Jim Carr adopted Pastor Koh through the Religious Prisoners of Conscience Project, and will be advocating for his release:
- “The government of Malaysia must make good on its promise to conduct a transparent and thorough investigation of the circumstances of Pastor Koh’s abduction, and ensure his wellbeing and safe return home. Malaysia is a leading economy and democracy in Southeast Asia. However, as USCIRF has consistently noted, its respect for freedom of religion and belief is critically lacking. The basic rights of vulnerable religious communities must be protected.”