Hundreds of protesters in Jakarta demand resolution to Munir’s murder

Tempo Interactive – September 7, 2010
Friends of Munir action (Republika)
Friends of Munir action (Republika)

Rosalina, Jakarta – A number of organisations that are part of the group Friends of Munir held a protest action in Jakarta on September 7 demanding a full resolution to the death of human rights activist Munir.

The protesters, who numbered around 700, gathered in front of the State Palace while giving speeches and holding a theatrical action complete with a human effigy bandaged in white cloth similar to a burial shroud.

According to action coordinator Poltak Agustinus Sinaga, the effigy symbolised the fact that up until this day there has been no resolution for the victims of human rights violations. “Many victims of human rights violations have died but there has been no settlement. So we are asking for a full resolution”, he said in front of the State Palace.

The aim of the action this afternoon, Sinaga continued, is to call on law enforcement agencies to settle cases of human rights violations, particularly the death of Munir. “The Munir case is now six years old but only [former Garuda Airlines pilot] Pollycarpus [Budihari Priyanto] has been jailed. There has clearly been collusion to ensure the case ends with Pollycarpus alone,” he said.

The protest was joined by a number of groups including the Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (Kasum), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial), the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH), the Jakarta Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI), students and victims of human rights violations.

In addition to the effigy wrapped in a burial shroud, a number of people also wore masks with the faces of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Pollycarpus and former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Deputy Muchdi Purwopranjono.

Although the action did not cause traffic congestion in the vicinity of the State Palace, scores of police officers could be seen keeping watch over the protest.

[Translated by James Balowski.]