Raymond Koh

Country:
Malaysia
Key Fact:

Christian pastor from Malaysia

Detained Since:

Feb 13, 2017

Biography:

Pastor Raymond Koh (Pastor Koh), is a Christian pastor from Malaysia. Prior to his abduction, he ran an NGO focused on people living with HIV/AIDs, recovering addicts, and single mothers and children. Local Islamic authorities once investigated his organization over allegations that the group was working to convert Muslims to Christianity in addition to its various social and charitable endeavors. Proselytization to Muslims is illegal in several states. Pastor Koh is married to Susanna Liew. USCIRF reported on Pastor Koh in its October 2019 Factsheet on Enforced Disappearances in Malaysia.

 

Recent events:  On February 13, 2017, three black SUVs forced Pastor Koh to pull over on a highway in Petaling Jaya in the Malaysian state of Selangor. Footage from CCTV shows at least 15 men emerging from the SUVs to abduct Pastor Koh. This is the last public footage of Pastor Koh. As noted in USCIRF’s factsheet, the entire episode lasted 40 seconds, and the speed, coordination, and efficiency of the abduction suggest it had been meticulously rehearsed.

 

On October 19, 2017, the national Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), began an investigation into the disappearance of Pastor Koh. On April 3, 2019, SUHAKAM announced that Raymond Koh was a victim of enforced disappearance.[1]


In response to the report, the government pledged a task force to investigate into the whereabouts of those disappeared, including Pastor Koh. On June 26, this task force was formed. In January 2020, the task force requested more time to investigate. Despite calls for making the report public, as of October 2020, there has been no release of any information or update on the course of the investigation.

 


[1] Enforced Disappearance: is defined by three cumulative elements:

(1) Deprivation of liberty against the will of the person;
(2) Involvement of government officials, at least by acquiescence;
(3) Refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person.

Freedom of Religion or Belief Victims List

Please visit USCIRF’s Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) Victims List to learn more about USCIRF’s efforts to highlight victims who are targeted due to their religion or belief.