Friday, June 24, 2005

Justice for Munir

Last year, Indonesian human rights activist Munir Said Thalib died during a flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam. Subsequently, an autopsy found that he had been fed a massive dose of arsenic. An independent inquiry was organised by the Indonesian government, and now it has reported back, pointing the finger squarely at Indonesia's intelligence services - and in particular at former intelligence chief Abdullah Hendropriyono and at one of his deputies, Major General Muchdi Purwopranjono. The latter previously commanded Kopassus, a special forces unit which specialised in kidnapping and torturing pro-democracy activists and in terrorising the civilian population of places like Aceh and East Timor. Munir's life's work was speaking out against these abuses.

The inquiry has passed its evidence to the Indonesian police and recommended further investigation and possibly prosecution. It remains now to be seen whether the police will follow it up - and whether Indonesia is going to be a nation subject to the rule of law, or one ruled by arbitrary military tyranny where people can get away with murder.

More here...