Aliran is deeply concerned at the incognito abduction of popular London-based Radio Free Sarawak deejay and democracy campaigner Peter John Jaban soon after his arrival in Miri.
According to RFS founder-editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, Peter John was abducted by a group of “three unidentified plainclothes personnel” after the car he was travelling in was intercepted on the route from Miri Airport into Miri town.
Commonly known by his moniker ‘Papa Orang Utan’, Peter, 48, was earlier detained in Kota Kinabalu Airport while on his way back to Miri for the Gawai Dayak Harvest Festival. There he was photographed and his documents photocopied by Kota Kinabalu police before being escorted onto his plane. He was also informed that he would be detained by Special Branch on his arrival in Miri.
Although Peter was met on arrival in Miri by a group of police personnel, no arrest was made as they apparently had not received any instructions to proceed with an arrest. This allowed Peter to leave the airport accompanied by Miri PKR leader Dr Michael Teo and DAP State Assembly member and lawyer Alan Ling. Their car, however, was later intercepted and Peter whisked away by the abductors who refused to disclose their identities.
Peter John’s only ‘crime’ is that he is critical of the deeply corrupt BN regime in Sarawak led by nepotistic Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. His popular Iban language radio call-in programmes, aired for two hours daily, have provided a platform for local people to speak out about their ongoing woes, about poverty, their lack of access to public infrastructure and amenities, deforestation, land grabs and ruthless BN leaders.
Miri Criminal Investigation Department (CID) deputy chief ASP Ooi Jin Bing has denied police involvement in Peter John’s abduction and disappearance. Ooi has also insisted that the three abductors were not police personnel.
Peter John’s current whereabouts remain unknown. He is known to be under medication for high blood pressure.
Aliran calls upon the Home Minister and police to immediately investigate Peter John’s mysterious abduction and disappearance. Failure on the part of the police to act decisively will only fuel damaging public suspicion and speculation that can only further erode public confidence in the police force’s integrity, professionalism and respect for democratic freedoms, human rights and the rule of law.
Aliran executive committee
31 May 2012