Dian Kurniati, Jakarta – The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) is calling on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to rid his cabinet and administration of alleged perpetrators of past human rights (HAM) violations.
Kontras Coordinator Yati Adriyani believes that Widodo’s closeness to alleged human rights violators is the main reason why he has failed to investigate past human rights cases over the last five years, including the assassination of Munir.
This was conveyed by Andriyani during a commemoration of 15 years since the assassination of renowned human rights defender Munir Said Thalib.
“Once again we are asking the president to rid his cabinet and all of those in his inner circle of power suspected to be HAM violators, including [presidential advisor] Hendropriyono, [security chief] Wiranto and so forth”, said Andriyani at the Kontras office on Friday September 6.
Andriyani is also urging Widodo to distance himself from these whose names were cited in the investigation carried out by the Munir Fact Finding Team (TPF), namely Hendropriyono.
Andriyani explained that when Munir was assassinated, Hendropriyono held the post of State Intelligence Agency (BIN) chief. One of his subordinates was BIN deputy director Muchdi Purwoprandjono (Muchdi PR).
Muchdi was proven to have communicated by phone 41 times with former Garuda Indonesia pilot Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, who was later convicted of the murder.
Furthermore, they are urging Widodo to ask Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo to submit a judicial review of the court’s verdict that released Muchdi in 2008.
According to Andriyani, the Prasetyo could find additional evidence so that Muchdi can be charged again.
In addition this, she is asking Widodo to publicise all of the results of the TPF’s 2005 investigation into the Munir murder and to follow up on all of its recommendations by ordering Indonesian police chief (Kapolri) Tito Karnavian, Prasetyo and Justice and Human Rights Minster (Menkumham) Yasonna Laoly to uncover the mastermind behind the case.
Finally, Andriyani hopes that Widodo will revise Law Number 39/1999 on Human Rights by including special stipulations on protecting human rights defenders. The aim being so that incidents of violence against human rights activists are not repeated.
Munir was poisoned by arsenic during a Garuda Airlines flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam on September 7, 2005. Although this year marks 15 years since his death, the intellectual actor behind the assassination has yet to be revealed.
Although off-duty pilot Pollycarpus Priyanto was convicted of Munir’s 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 Hendropriyono. A close ally of Megawati Sukarnoputri – the chairperson of President Joko Widodo’s ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) – according to US diplomatic cables leaked in 2011 Hendropriyono was involved in the planning of Munir’s murder.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Jokowi Didesak Bersihkan Kabinet dari Pelanggar HAM”.]