An exceptional number of NGOs (90!) demand justice for Munir in Indonesia

September 10, 2013

Nine years after the killing of human rights defender Munir Said Thalib, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono must take decisive and concrete action to ensure those responsible – including those at the highest levels – are brought to justice, and that all defenders of human rights are better protected. President Yudhoyono, who has himself described Munir’s case as a “test of our history”, but he has just one year of his presidency remaining in which to ensure full justice and reparations are delivered. The President’s failure so far to do so, at a time the protection of human rights defenders across the country remains seriously under threat, raises serious questions about his legacy.

On 7 September 2004, Munir was found dead on a flight from Jakarta to the Netherlands. An autopsy carried out by the Dutch authorities showed that he had been poisoned with arsenic. Munir had been in constant danger as a result of his human rights work. In 2002 and 2003, his office was attacked, and in August 2003, a bomb exploded outside his home in Bekasi, West Java. Although three people have now been convicted for their involvement in Munir’s death, there are credible allegations that those responsible for his death at the highest levels have not been brought to justice. Further, President Yudhoyono has still not published a 2005 report into Munir’s killing by an independent fact-finding team, despite such a recommendation in his decree on its establishment.

The continuing lack of full accountability for Munir’s killing is a chilling reminder to human rights defenders in Indonesia of the dangers they face and the utter disregard Indonesian authorities have for their crucial work.

The joint statement asks that the following steps are taken as a matter of priority:

– Publication of the 2005 report of the fact-finding team into Munir’s killing as a key step towards establishing the truth;

– A new, independent investigation to ensure that all perpetrators, at all levels, are brought to justice in accordance with international human rights standards;

– A review of past criminal proceedings by the Attorney General, in particular investigation of reports of witness intimidation and bring those suspected of committing them to justice;

– Effective steps to ensure that violations committed against all human rights defenders are promptly, effectively and impartially investigated and that those responsible are brought to justice in fair trials; and

logo FIDH_seul– The passage of specific legislation aimed at providing better legal protection for human rights defenders.

This joint statement published by FIDH is endorsed by 90 (!) international and national NGOs for the full statement of 9 September and all signatories see:

Indonesia : Failure to deliver full justice for the killing … – FIDH.


One Response to “An exceptional number of NGOs (90!) demand justice for Munir in Indonesia”

  1. […] The Jakarta Post of 7 September reports on a proposal by the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to designate  7 Sepember as national human rights defenders day, coinciding with the date of the assassination of prominent human rights activist Munir Said Thalib. “Dedicating Sept. 7 as national human rights defenders day could further promote the idea of providing support and protection for human rights activists in the country,” Komnas HAM commissioner Choirul Anam said in a statement on Monday. Human rights activists have persistently faced violence, harassment and criminalization to date, Choirul said. “Munir himself was a person who pioneered protection of human rights defenders in Indonesia.” Munir, the cofounder of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), was murdered with arsenic on Sept. 7, 2004, aboard a Garuda Indonesia plane on his way to the Netherlands to pursue a master’s degree in international law and human rights. Pressures have been mounting for years from the public and rights activists for law enforcement to prosecute the murder’s mastermind, who remains unknown to this date.[SEE:…%5D […]

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