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Rights group fights on over Indonesian poisoning

Sumber: AUSTRALIANNETWORKNEWS.COM | Tgl terbit: Rabu, 10 Juni 2009

A leading human rights group in Indonesia says the country's president still has to make good on his promise of final justice for a campaigner poisoned five years ago.

Arsenic killed Munir Said Thalib, founder of Kontras, the Commission for Disappearances and Victims of Violence, as he flew to Europe to study in the Netherlands.

A former Garuda pilot was sentenced to 20 years prison in January last year for his involvement in the case.

But Usman Hamid, now director of Kontras, says justice has still not been done.

Task force

He told Connect Asia's Sen Lam that Indonesia's police investigators maintain a special task force to investigate the murder.

"They believe there is another important mastermind behind the murder."

Last December, a court found the former deputy head of the country's spy agency, Muchdi Purwopranjono, not guilty of masterminding the 2004 killing.

Mr Hamid says the attorney-general has appealed to the Supreme Court over the acquittal of Purwopranjono, who is also a former commander of the country's special forces.

The acquittal was "not only a setback for the case but also it's a setback for the protection of human right defenders more broadly," he said.

Timor

Mr Hamid said that since the fall of former Indonesian president Suharto, "no single perpetrator of human right violation (has been) brought to justice, even in the case of East Timor . . . where the international community has paid a very strong attention.

"And this is the first time ever where Indonesian authorities detain a former military general, and I think it brings a new hope for the future of Indonesian rule of law."

The rights campaigner said that so far three other people had faced court for alleged complicity in the poisoning, with two given jail terms and one exonerated.

"I think this is a very positive achievement," he said.

"Of course, it needs more action from (President) Yudhoyono to ensure that justice is done."



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