Rights commission forms new team to follow up on Munir assassination

Detik News – September 7, 2021
Mural depicting rights defender Munir reading 'Poisoned in the air' – Undated (Detik)

Kadek Melda Luxiana, Jakarta – The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has formed a new monitoring and investigation team to follow up on the assignation of renewed human rights defender Munir Said Thalib. The team will work to determine whether nor not there was a gross human rights violation in the case.

"Today's Komnas HAM plenary meeting decided that we would form a team to follow up on this", said Komnas HAM Commissioner Sandrayati Moniaga during a virtual press conference on Tuesday September 7.

Moniaga said that the team will be formed based on Law Number 39/1999 on Human Rights. If the team finds sufficient preliminary evidence Moniaga said the next process will be for it to be raised to an investigation in accordance with Law Number 26/2000 on a Human Rights Court.

"So, it's only now based on Law 39. Meaning it's not a direct investigation, because that is indeed the process. So, if there's enough preliminary evidence it will be raised to Law 26", she said.

"So, the current status is that Komnas HAM has formed a team to conduct monitoring and investigation into the assassination of Brother Munir", she added.

Moniaga explained that the team is made of three people and is headed by Komnas HAM Commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara with members Choirul Anam herself.

"And the head of the team is Pak [Mr] Beka. The members, Mas [Brother] Choirul Anam and myself", she said.

Moniaga explained that the team would not ignore the facts which have already been gathered by the Fact Finding Team (TPF) and that they would delve into the most recent legal theories about the humanitarian crime.

"So in the process the team will work to collect all of the existing facts, materials and of course we will not ignore the full report by the TPF. Then the court's verdict and various documents that exist including the examination already done by Komnas HAM, this also exists. Also study and delve into new legal theories, particularly in relation to the humanitarian crime because we know that it's quite complex and complicated", she said. (maa/maa)


Munir died of arsenic poisoning onboard a Garuda Indonesia flight on September 7, 2004. Although off-duty pilot Pollycarpus Priyanto was convicted of the murder in 2005 the alleged mastermind behind the assassination, former National Intelligence Agency (BIN) deputy Muchdi Purwoprandjono, was later acquitted of all charges. Also implicated in the murder but never investigated was former BIN chief AM Hendropriyono. Hendropriyono, a close ally of Megawati Sukarnoputri – the chairperson of President Joko Widodo's ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) – was cited in US diplomatic cables leaked in 2011 as being involved in the planning of Munir's murder.

In 2004, former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono formed a TPF which in its final report found that Munir's death was a "well-planned conspiracy" and named a number of Garuda executives and BIN officials who should be investigated. These recommendations were never followed up or made public and the report has since gone missing. Rights groups have been pushing Komnas HAM to declare the case a gross human rights violation due to the 18 year statute of limitations on capital crimes meaning the case will be closed in September 2022.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Komnas HAM Bentuk Tim Tentukan Pelanggaran HAM Berat di Kasus Munir".]

Source: https://news.detik.com/berita/d-5714025/komnas-ham-bentuk-tim-tentukan-pelanggaran-ham-berat-di-kasus-munir