- A Precious Gift to Humanity


- The Other Side of the Kingdom

- Convention Now!
Together Now!

- Tying the Future with the Past

- Getting Back on Track


- Still Fighting

- In Memory of the Disappeared

- The Power
 of One


- Protect All Persons From Enforced Disappearances


- Building on Nilo’s Legacy

- Filipinos Fight Against Disappearances

- Justice Suspended

- The Munir Murder - Another Case of Impunity


- FEDEFAM Statement...

- An Open Statement to the GRP and NDFP Panels ...

- Parvez Imroz’ Award...

Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances

Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances

Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances

Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances

Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances

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Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances

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by Veronica Kusumaryati



The Munir Murder - A Case of Impunity ...


European President Jose Manuel Barruso asked Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during the Sixth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) last September in Helsinki, Finland, what developments have been made on Munir’s murder case. This now puts Indonesia under international pressure to uncover the truth behind the death of the Indonesian human rights defender.

Munir died of arsenic poisoning on board a Garuda flight to Amsterdam via Singapore on 7 September 2004. Off-duty Garuda pilot, Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, was charged of executing the assassination plot and has been sentenced by the Indonesian court to 14 years in prison. The mastermind, however, has yet to be identified and other key suspects still have to be brought to court. Pollycarpus continue to refuse naming those involved in the murder operation.

Makbul Padmanagara, Head of Crime Department of the Indonesian Police Corps, admitted recently to the inefficiency of investigating the case. Many evidences are yet to be recovered and a number of witnesses are still be convinced to testify.

"We face a number of difficulties in gathering evidence that can stand up in the court," National Police Chief General Sutanto added.

New Team

In view of coping with international pressure, the police department plans to form a new investigation team to be led by Vice Chair of the Crime Department, Matheus Salempang. Unlike the previous team, however, this one will involve human rights activists and other members of the civil society’s participation. Invited to be members are Usman Hamid from KontraS and Asmara Nababan from DEMOS. This team is set to call upon old and new witnesses recommended by the Jakarta district court.

AFAD delegation stages a silent prayer in front of Indonesian Embassy during Munir’s second death anniversary.Soon to be summoned as well are Head Deputy of State Intellegence Agency (BIN), Mr. Muchdi PR and some Garuda Indonesia’s officers namely, Vice President of Corporate Security, Ramelgia Anwar, and crew members Udi Irianto and Yeti Susmiyati. BIN is suspected of being involved in the conspiracy to kill Munir.

According to Jakarta Post, the previous investigation team has failed to summon and question former BIN Chief AM Hendropriyono and the flight agency’s officials. The new team is expected to have authority to question all necessary parties, including officials and former officials of intelligence agency and high military officers.

Local and international demonstrations

Last 7 September, Munir’s second death anniversary, his wife, Suciwati, filed a Rp13 billion (about US$1.4 million) lawsuit against national airline Garuda Indonesia. She sustains her strong campaign for truth and justice. Together with activists, held a public demonstration demanding for an impartial inquiry into the death of Munir. They rallied from the Independence Monument in Central Jakarta to the National Police Headquarters in South Jakarta and Supreme Court.

In the Philippines, on Munirs 2nd death anniversary on September 7, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) met with the officials of the Indonesian Embassy in Manila in the hope of speeding up action regarding the case. AFAD Secretary-General Aileen Bacalso and AFAD Country Staff from Indonesia, Veronica Kusumaryati discussed with Indonesian embassy’s Minister/Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Sanusi and Minister Counsellor Maila Sonja Tahar the serious concern to shed light to the case and bring justice soon. Mr. Sanusi disclosed that investigations are continued and Pollycarpus shall be summoned to the Parliament forum soon to be further put under inquiry.


More political will

Elected as a member of the Human Rights Council, Indonesia is even more pressured to address its human rights issues. AFAD Secretary-General Bacalso advised the Indonesian government to firm up its political will in resolving Munir’s case. And in line with this is to support the adoption and ratification of the International Convention to Protect All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.

Irony of ironies

Amidst the reverberating calls for truth and justice, the worst situation happened - Pollycarpus Budhiri Priyanto’s supposedly 16 - year imprisonment has been reduced to two years. In March 2007, Pollycarpus is expected to be released on the ground of lack of evidence.

For Indonesia, being a member of the UN Human Rights Council, the preposterous judgement is both a shame and an insult.


Veronica Kusuma is AFAD’s country staff member in Indonesia. She is working with KontraS and IKOHI, two  NGO members of  the  Coalition for Munir Case (KASUM). This coalition works to press the Indonesisan government to resolve the Munir case. Veronica used to be active in student press. At present, she continues to practice her journalistic skills, by writing for a local newspaper on women issues. She also takes media studies in Jakarta Institute of Arts.

 The Voice

Vol. VI No.1 November 2006

Copyright 2007  AFAD - Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances
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