Wednesday, December 21, 2005

(Some) justice for Munir

An Indonesian airline pilot has been found guilty of murdering human rights activist Munir Said Thalib, and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. This is some justice for Munir - but it is not enough. While the court found that Pollycarpus Priyanto had poisoned Munir with arsenic during a flight to Amsterdam in 2004, and that the killing was politically motivated, it steadfastly avoided the question of who Priyanto was working with. The independent inquiry into Munir's death which recommended laying charges in the first place pointed the finger squarely at Indonesia's intelligence services - and in particular at at former intelligence chief Abdullah Hendropriyono and at one of his deputies, Major General Muchdi Purwopranjono (who is also accused of war crimes in East Timor). But no charges were laid, and the question was never addressed by the court. Instead, it seems that the rule of law in Indonesia has failed, and that it is still a country where the military and security services can kill citizens with impunity and get away with murder...


Indonesia is a remarkably corrupt country - I know of someone who regularly travels there & makes use of the diplomatic lane by virtue of several thousand rupiah stuffed in his decidely non-diplomatic passport.

Of course, exactly the same thing happens here - from the farcial (Helen Clark's speeding driver gets charged, and she doesn't) to the tragic (Cave Creek). It's much easier to blame the flunkies & prevent the blame from shifting to where it truly belongs.

All the more reason for citizens to remain vigilant, & oppose any move towards totalitarianism by Government. But of course that won't happen as long as the 'left' & 'right' are at each others throats fighting to control the population in the way they see fit.

Posted by Duncan Bayne : 12/21/2005 12:17:00 PM

I have no comment actually, but thanks for your attention to Indonesian issues. However, there's a lot more issues need to be exposed, I think.
Recently, one of Indonesian bloggers has been questioned by the National Police regarding the retouched photos, he made, that showing a photo of the president and some politicians. It's just kind of joke, actually.

Posted by Anymatters : 12/21/2005 03:35:00 PM