Machhendra Setyo Atmaja, Jakarta – A sentence of life imprisonment for Pollycarpus Budihari Prijanto is unsatisfactory as he is only a scapegoat. There is concern that the state is protecting the mastermind behind the Munir murder case.
“I think the president already knows quite a bit about the mastermind. We are concerned there are forces that are being protected by the state. In the case of Munir, there cannot be [parties] that are immune from the law”, declared the operational coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Edwin Partogi.
Partogi was acting as the coordinator of an action held by around 1,000 people from the Solidarity Committee for Munir, a forum concerned with developments in the Munir case. They had gathered at the Proclamation Monument in Cikini, Central Jakarta.
They then took 12 large- and medium-sized buses to the State Palace on Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara arriving at around 12.20pm on Thursday December 8.
“We demand that the Munir murder case be solved and the mastermind tried. We are totally dissatisfied with the legal process that is currently underway. Polly[carpus] is only one of the perpetrators. We hope that all of those who are involved, including BIN [the State Intelligence Agency], be declared suspects and tried”, said Partogi.
According to Partogi, since the Munir Fact Finding Team was disbanded, the investigation into the Munir case has suffered a setback. He is also asking that in solving the case the government not allow there to be those who are immune from the law.
In resolving the murder of the human rights activist he continued, it is not enough to punish just one person, because Munir’s murder was premeditated and carried out by more than one person.
During the action in front of the State Palace, the demonstrators brought banners and posters with demands calling for the Munir case to be solved as well as large photographs of Munir’s face.
A happening art action was also held. The demonstrators depicted Pollycarpus as being just a scapegoat while there are still many other perpetrators who are not being tried. Six men whose bodies were smeared with mud danced while repeatedly shouting “democracy” and asking “why”.
The action was then followed by speeches. After around 15 minutes they were joined by a group of farmers and workers who had earlier demonstrated in front of the State Palace. They then gave joint speeches from the stage.
After some 30 minutes, at around 1.30 the demonstrators moved of to the national police headquarters to hold a similar action. The plan is for an action to be held by representatives from Kontras, the Legal Aid Foundation, Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial), the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi), the Bojong Integrated Waste Treatment Facility Society, the Victims of the Kotabumi Land Evictions, the Tanjung Priok Victims and the Batang and Pekalongan Farmers Society which will end at 4pm. (bal)
[Translated by James Balowski.]