It may be that the TNI is behind the threats: Munir’s wife

Source – November 21, 2004
Munir's widow Suciwati (Whiteboard Journal)
Munir's widow Suciwati (Whiteboard Journal)

Arin Widiyanti, Jakarta – Munir’s widow, Suciwati, says that the threats against her indicate that the death of her husband was politically motivated. She has asked that the investigation not be directed at Munir’s closest friends as suspects in the murder.

Suciwati made the statement when she was met by and journalists from 68 H following a press conference at the offices of Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) on Jalan Diponegoro in Jakarta on Monday November 21. Initially Suciwati was reluctant to be interviewed but after feeling calmer she agreed to share her thoughts with us.

You have just returned from Lebaran (celebrations following the fasting month) holidays in Batu, Malang (East Java)? What are your feelings?

Aduh, I’m still confused. If I remember, sad. [I’ve] already lost a husband, now his death has become case [in itself].

With regard to the threats, what’s the story?

After Munir’s death there were two incidents. The first was two days after his death, on September 9. In the form of an anonymous letter, its contents welcomed Munir’s death. [It said] Hopefully [Munir’s] spirit is not being set upon by the spirits of the nation’s heroes who were felled by bullets in defense of the country. Munir died vomiting because [he had] consumed too much money from the state or non-government organisations. Munir sold out the nation and the state.

The second was yesterday, on November 20, I received a package which contained the rooting head of a chicken, claws, chicken feces, along with a threat, Beware!!!!! Don’t connect the TNI in Munir’s death, want to end up like this (?!).

There was also the assassination attempts, the bomb in Malang in 2001. But so far it has still not been investigated. So far I haven’t got any response.

What about your assessment of the threats?

These threats indicate that the murder was politically motivated. So don’t let it be diverted towards people closest to Munir. It makes absolutely no sense. There have been reports circulating which say this is an inter-non-government organisation dispute.

The message warned not to implicate the TNI. Do you suspect the TNI was the perpetrator?

I can’t say. That is the job of the police. There are two possibilities. Firstly, that there are parties who want to corner the TNI. Secondly, it may be that the perpetrator of the threats is actually the TNI, because in the past [Munir’s organisation] Kontras has taken up issues with the TNI, one of these was the draft law on the TNI.

What about the deceased himself? Some of his closest friends have said that the deceased was ill. What is your opinion?

Many close friends have said that if he was suffering from an illness of the kidneys, the liver and the like. As far as I know he has only ever been sick with exhaustion and was treated at St Carolus Hospital. And that is very different from his friends’ statements. I am extremely disappointed with his close friends who have given out such information as if they know all about it. In fact they have no capacity to speak about his health. But [they] spoke to the media. And then it was blown up all over the media. But I have approached them and forgiven them.

Before going to the Netherlands the deceased had a checkup at the Cikini public hospital. Will the results be released as part of the investigation?

So far there has been no request by the police. Yeah, if [they] still [want] to use it but that was in the month of June. And [he] departed in August. So a long time had passed.

You went to the Netherlands the other day, did you obtain a copy of the autopsy results?

I tried hard to obtain it. But the ones who did the autopsy consider it state property, state documents and this is a criminal case so those with the right to obtain them are the investigators.

What do you want at the moment? Do who want perhaps, some day, to publish a book about the case?

I’ve never thought about writing a book about the case. At the moment I am thinking about the immediate solving of the case. The mastermind must be tried. So far only little fish have been sacrificed. It would be best if an independent team be formed to investigate the case fully.

To date, has anyone from the Palace ever contacted the family?

To date no one has contacted [us]. (iy)

[Translated by James Balowski.]