Commemorating six years since Munir’s murder, protesters urge Yudhoyono to act

Kompas – September 8, 2010
Protest action commemorating death of Munir (Viva)
Protest action commemorating death of Munir (Viva)

Jakarta – Hundreds of people from various groups including as human rights activists, victims of human rights violations and students demonstrated in front of the State Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday September 7.

During the action to commemorate six years since the death of human rights activist Munir, they urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to fully resolve and expose the truth behind Munir’s murder.

Munir was found dead on a Garuda Indonesia Airlines flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam on September 7, 2004. The autopsy carried out by Dutch authorities found that Munir was killed by arsenic. Although two people have been sentenced over the case, there are suspicions that the person most responsible has walked free.

Present at the protest action were leading activists from the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Jakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH), the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI) and several other non-government organisations.

Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar said that the Attorney General must report to the president on the latest developments in the Munir murder case after former State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Deputy Muchdi Purwopranjono was declared free by the South Jakarta District Court.

“After receiving the Attorney General’s report, the President must provide direction, namely submitting a judicial review and seeking legal argumentation”, said Haris.

Haris suspects that the Attorney General has in fact already reported on developments in the case to the president. “My assumption is that the president has not responded”, he said.

Speaking separately, National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Chairperson Ifdhal Kasim said that the president needs to pay more attention to the case, particularly to the Attorney General, to fully resolve Munir’s murder.

“Following Muchdi’s not guilty verdict, the Attorney General has the legal avenue to submit a judicial review”, said Kasim. In addition to this, the president needs to instruct the national police chief to find new evidence in the case.

Kasim added that Komnas HAM has already conducted an examination of the South Jakarta District Court’s verdict against Muchdi. (fer/ato)

[Translated by James Balowski.]