Digital archive launched to enrich literacy about rights defender Munir

Source – March 30, 2021
Human rights activist Munir Said Thalib – Undated (Kompas)

Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Jakarta – The Munir Human Rights Museum and the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) have archived 1,864 documents on the struggle of the late human rights defender Munir Said Thalib.

The thousands of documents have been digitally archived and given the name the Human Rights Archive and Documentation Index (Indah).

Kontras Coordinator Fatia Maulidiyanti said that the launch of the archive is aimed at enriching literacy about Munir's history and his struggle to defend human rights in Indonesia.

"(The archive) is to show the history and the past and how Munir always warned us to resist forgetting and about his activism in advocating human rights cases in Indonesia and also it is important for this to be known by the public, especially young people", said Maulidiyanti during a virtual launch of the library on Tuesday March 30.

The launch of the archive is also in part to address the public's right to know the truth about Munir.

During the initial stages of the work, Indah collected 8.2 linear meters of archives on Munir's assassination along with various cases of human rights violations which he fought for.

The archive is arranged chronologically and thematically based on cases handled by Munir starting from the Tanjung Priok killing of Muslim protesters in 1984 to the abductions and disappearance of activists in 1998.

Through the archive, the public can research the 1,864 documents as well as find references based on location, people's names, facts and incidents which can be utilised in accordance with their needs.

Maulidiyanti said the launch of the archive also represents a campaign to raise public interest about human rights issues.

"The archive also represents a campaign to [enliven] the spirit of resisting forgetting and also to raise public interest and awareness about the importance of human rights issues", said Maulidiyanti.


Renowned human rights defender Munir died of arsenic poisoning onboard a Garuda Indonesia flight in September 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.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "1.864 Dokumen Perjuangan HAM Munir Diarsipkan Secara Digital".]