Happy birthday Mr President, don’t forget your promise to Munir

Detik.com – September 9, 2009
Paper reads 'Try the Mastermind of Munir's Murder' (Jelasmi)
Paper reads 'Try the Mastermind of Munir's Murder' (Jelasmi)

Shohib Masykur, Jakarta – The coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Usman Hamid, took time out on Wednesday to wish President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) a happy birthday.

Hamid, the suspect in a case of alleged defamation against former top spy Muchdi Purwoprandjono, also demanded that Yudhoyono fulfill his promise to resolve the murder of renowned human rights activist Munir.

“To Mr. SBY, I want to say happy birthday. Consider this as a gift to remember that there is still a promise that has to be fulfilled,” said Hamid during a break in a press conference at the Kontras offices on Jl. Borobudur in Central Jakarta on Wednesday September 9.

The promise referred to by Hamid was Yudhoyono’s pledge to resolve Munir’s murder, as Yudhoyono once stated that the Munir case represented ‘homework’ for the upholding of human rights.

Without a resolution of Munir’s murder, said Hamid, the upholding of human rights in Indonesia will be under threat. If people in the past can arbitrarily do away with other people and not be punished in kind, cases such as Munir’s murder will occur again.

It is also not impossible that in the future there will be other victims, not just activists but attorney generals, justices of the Supreme Court, members of the House of Representatives, and even presidents. “We still have to see whether with his increased political powers SBY will be capable of resolving human rights problems or not,” said Hamid.

Second police summons

Meanwhile a member of the Solidarity Action Committee for Munir (Kasum), Choirul Anam said that they will respect the laws that are in effect. Hamid will fulfil the second summons from the Metro Jaya regional police after failing to appear earlier in the morning.

“We will respect the laws that are in effect. We will attend (the second summons). But because Hamid had an event, he was unable to attend earlier,” said Anam. (sho/anw)


Yudhoyono was born in Pacitan, a small town in East Java, on September 9, 1949.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Expressing happy birthday to SBY, Usman demands fulfillment of promise to resolve Munir case”.]