Three years after Munir murder, Yogya activist call for BIN to be disbanded

Source – September 7, 2007
Rights activists commemorate 3 years since Munir's death - September 7, 2007 (Antara)
Rights activists commemorate 3 years since Munir's death - September 7, 2007 (Antara)

Bagus Kurniawan, Yogyakarta – Activists in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta commemorated three years since Munir’s death by demanding that the National Intelligence Agency (BIN) be disbanded.

Scores of activists from the Yogyakarta Solidarity Action Committee for Udin and Munir (KASUM) went to the Yogyakarta Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) on Jl. Malioboro on Friday September 7 demanding that the Munir murder case be solved.

In speeches the demonstrators said that cases involving the murder of activists in Indonesia are never solved citing the murder of Munir and journalist Fuad Muhammad Syafrudin alias Udin1 as examples. Up until now the masterminds behind the two murders have yet to be revealed.

KASUM said that suspicions that BIN is behind Munir’s murder must be investigated immediately. They are also asking for former BIN officials such as Hendropriyono, Muchdi PR and As’ad2 to be brought to trial. “Because they are the key figures in order to [be able] crack the Munir case”, shouted one of the demonstrators in a speech.

Satisfied with giving speeches at the DPRD, the demonstrators continued the action at the Yogyakarta governor’s office in Kepatihan. Before they arrived however, scores of civil service police had already closed the gates to the governor’s offices.

Throughout the protest a battalion of Yogyakarta municipal police watched over the demonstration. A number of traffic police could also be seen directing traffic on Jl. Malioboro in order to prevent a traffic jam.

Like other demonstrations, protesters also brought posters and banners with messages such as “The Polly[carpus]-Indra Setiawan recording, Bin is clearly involved”3, “President Yudhoyono and Vice President Jusuf Kalla are weak”, “Udin + Munir we are with you”, “Stop the murder of pro-democracy activists”, and “The Udin case is tainted – sack the Yogyakarta chief of police”.

They also brought a four-meter length of white cloth with the demand “Try the masterminds of Udin + Munir’s murder, KASUM Yogya” and photographs of Udin who was murdered on August 13, 1996. (bgs/djo)


1. Fuad Muhammad Syafruddin (Udin) was a journalist with the Yogyakarta based newspaper Bernas who died in August 1996 after being badly beaten in his home by unknown intruders. At the time he was investigating a corruption case involving the regent of Bantul, Sri Rosa Sudarmo. Despite the fact that Sudarmo was implicated in the murder, he was never questioned by police. Instead Dwi Sumaji, an employee of an advertising company, was plied with drink, provided with a prostitute, and promised money by police officials in return for confessing to Udin’s murder. Although eventually brought to trial Sumaji was later acquitted for lack of evidence.

2. Hendropriyono – The former director of BIN at the time when Munir was murdered. Muchdi PR – Former deputy director at BIN who received numerous phone calls from the prime suspect in the case, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto just prior to Munir’s murder. As’ad – Former deputy director of BIN who signed a recommendation letter asking for Priyanto to joint the flight on which Munir died.

3. A recording played in court between Priyanto and former Garuda Airlines executive director Indra Setiawan implicating themselves and BIN officials in the murder.

[Translated by James Balowski.]