‘Police not afraid of terrorists, so why afraid of Munir’s killer’

Detik.com – December 20, 2005
Protesters demand police arrest perpetrators of Munir's murder (VOA Indonesia)
Protesters demand police arrest perpetrators of Munir's murder (VOA Indonesia)

Nurvita Indarini, Jakarta – The sentencing of Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto was enlivened by a demonstration by hundreds of activists from the Solidarity Action Committee for Munir. But they were not demanding that Pollycarpus receive a heavier sentence – rather that the police investigate the other perpetrators of Munir’s murder.

These demands were depicted in the posters brought to the action. “SBY [President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono], prove that you’ve got guts”, “The police are brave when it comes to terrorists, [but] why are they afraid of Munir’s killer” and “The police don’t have the guts to uncover the Munir case”, read the posters.

The action was held by some 500 people from the National Student League for Democracy (LMND), the Indonesian Environment Forum (Walhi), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) and the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI) on Jalan Gajah Mada, the road in front of the Central Jakarta State Court building.

Inside the building meanwhile, the court was in the process of hearing the verdict against Pollycarpus. The session that began at 10.10am on Tuesday December 20 was presided over by Judge Cicut Sutiarso.

According to the head of Kontras’ operational division, Edwin Partogi, they are disappointed with the process of democratisation and human rights that never seems to make any headway. “President SBY already knows who is behind Munir’s murder, but is unwilling to divulge it”, he said.

The demonstration included a happening art action that depicted Munir’s persistence in struggling for human rights even though it meant that he had to face terror threats and end was himself murdered.

Two demonstrators organised the happening art action. One wearing white shorts and no shirt with their hands, feet and head tied with ribbon, and their whole body covered in thorny roses. The other person wore various kinds of white cloth and a mask as they danced. (gtp)

[Translated by James Balowski.]