His Excellency President Yudhoyono,
member-organizations of the Latin American Federation of Associations of
Relatives of Disappeared-Detainees from 13 Latin American countries, on
the occasion of our 18th
Congress being held in Bogota, Colombia, express to the Indonesian
government our profound concern with the murder of Munir on September 7,
Munir, 38 years old at the time of his death and known
to be Indonesia’s strongest human rights defender and the former
chairperson of the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD),
was brutally killed by a lethal dose of arsenic on a Garuda flight from
Jakarta to Amsterdam via Singapore.
Our Federation, which experienced long years of
repression during the period of dictatorship in many of our Latin American
countries, condemns in the strongest term the murder of Munir. Such a
grave violation of the right to life in a country which claims to have
achieved democracy after those 32 dark years of the dictatorship of
Suharto, is a cause of our collective concern. Such concern stems from our
firm conviction of the imperative to respect the most basic right to life
and the right of human rights defenders to carry out their work.
We are aware that the Indonesian government formed a
Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the case of Munir. As a result, Mr.
Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, the pilot who has been implicated in the
murder of Munir, in a decision of the Central Jakarta District Court, is
imprisoned for 14 years. The decision pales in comparison with our
expectation that both the direct perpetrators and their mastermind be
punished to the full extent of the law. Ironically, however, on March 27,
2006, the panel of judges, mentioned the possibility of acquittal of
Polycarpus for lack of evidence.
We believe that the failure to resolve the murder of
Munir causes an utter embarrassment to the Indonesian government which
chaired the then United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 2005 and was
just recently elected for a two-year term as a member of the
newly-established United Nations Human Rights Council.
Therefore, the Indonesian government should treat with
utmost seriousness and political will the immediate and full resolution of
the murder of Munir – not to leave any stone unturned in ferreting out the
truth; to punish to the full extent of the law both the direct
perpetrators and their mastermind and to ensure that reparation for the
victim’s family be granted.
We call on the Indonesian government, particularly His
Excellency President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, to resolve without delay
the case of Munir; resolve the numerous cases of enforced disappearances
in Indonesia and other forms of human rights violations in the country and
put to a stop the on-going violence. Such is a manifestation of political
will to be true to Indonesia’s pledges during its candidacy as member of
the United Nations Human Rights Council. Such exemplary commitment to the
principles of human rights would then serve as a grand step to the
democratization of Indonesia, which, like many of our Latin American
countries, has been devastated by dark years of dictatorship.
Finally, we, the delegates to the 18th
FEDEFAM Congress, with the theme: " 25 Years of Struggle: No to
Enforced Disappearances, No to Impunity, Convention Now," challenge the
Indonesian government to be consistent with its position in favor of the
United Nations Draft Convention on the Protection of All Persons from
Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. Indonesia’s support to the future
treaty will serve as a tribute to Munir who indefatigably worked against
enforced disappearances and to all the involuntarily disappeared persons
in Indonesia whose memory should never ever be forgotten.
The Delegates to the 18th FEDEFAM Congress.