31 May 2012
THE ILLEGAL ABDUCTION OF PETER JOHN JABAN ON GAWAI EVE
I wish to express my outrage at the abduction of Peter John Jaban in Miri this morning while he was on his way home to celebrate the Gawai festival with his family. From reports received, the police were ‘in the know’ about this abduction as there was heavy police presence at Miri airport. The men who removed him from Dr Michael Teo’s car were not uniformed and refused to identify themselves to a lawyer, Mr Alan Ling who was also in Dr Teo’s car.
This is indeed a dark and sad day for Sarawakians, that the authorities would treat a native of the land in such a shameful manner and show total lack of respect for the local culture and festivities. Peter John’s family was waiting to celebrate Gawai with him and are now extremely distraught, not knowing his fate. To add to their worries is the fact that he has some medical issues.
I call upon the authorities to own up to their contemptible act. By refusing to identify themselves, the officers had acted illegally and we demand the release of Peter John. At the very least, disclose Peter John’s location so that a lawyer can be present to ensure that his rights are not violated. Inform him and his family of the reason for his abduction and the law pursuant to which his abduction was carried out. Proper procedures must be followed when the authorities are depriving a man of his freedom and liberty. The actions of the authorities this morning indicate that we are on the road to becoming a police state where those charged with ensuring our safety behave like gangsters. Sarawakians are a peace-loving people and we find such behavior totally repugnant and unacceptable. Where is the honour, decency and integrity which we expect from the police force?
We are highly concerned about Peter John’s safety at this time, especially when we recall the brutality with which Dato’ Sri Anwar Ibrahim and many others in custody were treated. Let the authorities take note that we, and the public, hold them responsible for Peter John’s safety and well-being while he is in their custody. Let no harm befall him.
We urge the authorities to show some civility and moral rectitude – release Peter John Jambun to his family so that he may be reunited with his family this Gawai season.
We pray for Peter John and his family, that he may be returned safe to his loved ones.
N70 Ba’ Bekalalan /