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3rd Anniversary of Munir: Bring the Case to Justice

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FORUM-ASIA released a statement to honour the life of Munir Said Thalib, demanding the Indonesian government to review his murder. Munir is an Indonesian human rights defender, who revealed past human rights abuse and military’s corruption.
7 September 2007 marked the third anniversary of the murder case of Munir Said Thalib, an Indonesian human rights defender poisoned in Changi International Airport, Singapore. FORUM-ASIA released a statement to honour his life and work, calling upon the Indonesian authorities to “ensure that the perpetrators behind Munir’s murder are brought to justice immediately.”

Munir’s involvement in human rights issues made him “an enemy of powerful military bureaucrats,” the statement said, as he revealed human rights abuses in Aceh and Papua and military’s involvement in illegal logging, drug trafficking and weapon smuggling. Munir co-founded two human rights organisations: KONTRAS and IMPARSIAL. He also served as a member of the Commission on Investigation into Human Rights Violations in East Timor (Ad Hoc). He had received death threats and attempts to murder.

On 7 September 2004, he was scheduled to fly by Garuda Indonesia Airline, GA-974, to go to the Netherlands to pursue his master’s degree. Series of investigation confirmed the fatal dose of arsenic in Munir’s body. Key suspect, Pollycarpus Priyanto, an intelligence officer and an off duty pilot found guilty for masquerading the murder. He however admitted that he did not act alone. Sentenced to 14 years in prison, he was later acquitted in October 2006 by the Supreme Court due to insufficient evidence. Other suspects include Indra Setiawan, the former Director of Garuda Airways, and Rohainil Aini, the Secretary to the Chief Pilot from the same company.

Human rights organisations pressured the Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to appoint a new fact-finding team to bring more evidence, after the first team has been under the influence of the intelligence agency.

During their working visit to Indonesia, Louise Arbour, the UN Human Rights Commissioner, and Hina Jilani, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders, they presented Munir’s case. Yudhoyono and his offices vowed to bring perpetrators to justice immediately. One of FORUM-ASIA’s partner, IKOHI held a “Commemoration of International Day for the Disappeared in Indonesia” in which Munir’s case has been the mainstay.

To read the whole statement of FORUM-ASIA, please visit: