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Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Indonesia

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 22 March 2006
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2005 - Indonesia, 22 March 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48747cbc2c.html [accessed 3 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Lack of investigation into the assassination and disappearance of two human rights defenders35

By the end of 2005, an investigation had still not been opened into the disappearance of Mr. Abdussalam Muhamad Deli and the assassination of Mr. Raja Ismail, although the two cases had been immediately reported to the National Human Rights Commission (KOMNAS-HAM) and the local police.

Mr. Abdussalam Muhamad Deli, a 23 year-old volunteer of the Legal Aid and Human Rights Agency (PB-HAM) in East Aceh, an NGO carrying out advocacy through data collection, the organisation of campaigns and the provision of legal assistance, has been reported missing since 11 May 2003. He had left from Langsa in the district of East Aceh, on a public bus, to go to the village where his family lives, when unidentified men in civilian clothing had stopped the vehicle. They had then forced the young man out of the bus, before taking him by force in a car in the direction of the city of Langsa.

On the same day, Mr. Raja Ismail, also a PB-HAM volunteer, had been abducted outside Langsa. On 13 May 2003, his body was found in the Titi Kembar river, in the village of Langsa Lama. The corpse showed signs of strangulation, knife wounds and bruises.

Investigation into the murder of Mr. Munir Said Thalib36

On 7 September 2004, Mr. Munir Said Thalib, co-founder of the Commission for Disappearances and Victims of Violence (KONTRAS), had died on board of a Garuda Airlines flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam. He had complained of feeling unwell during the transit in Singapore and had died shortly before landing in the Netherlands. On 11 November 2004, the Dutch Forensic Institute had made public the findings of the autopsy conducted on the body, and had disclosed the presence of a lethal dose of arsenic, thus confirming the fears that Mr. Munir was murdered. The Indonesian authorities had then initiated an enquiry into his death.

Mr. Munir had played a leading role in the investigations into human rights violations perpetrated by the Indonesian army, particularly in East Timor. He had also led numerous investigations into the disappearances of activists in Aceh and Papua, under the Suharto dictatorship.

On 9 August 2005, proceedings against Mr. Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, Garuda Airlines pilot, suspected of having offered a first class seat to Mr. Munir and of having then put arsenic in his orange juice, began before the Jakarta Central District Court. Mr. Pollycarpus Priyanto was charged with "committing or participating in the premeditated murder of Mr. Munir, alone or in collaboration with the suspects Oedi Irianto and Yeti Susmiarti [two stewards of Garuda Airlines]" and with "tampering with evidence". The two stewards were not arrested.

On 20 December 2005, the Jakarta Central District Court sentenced Mr. Priyanto to 14 years in prison for "premeditated murder" in collaboration with Mr. Oedi Irianto and Mr. Yeti Susmiarti and "falsification of airline documents". Mr. Priyanto might appeal the verdict.

The proceedings appeared to disregard the results of the inquiry undertaken from December 2004 to June 2005 by an official investigation team (Tim Pencari Fakta – TPF), that suggested the involvement of senior executives of the State airline Garuda and high-level officials of the State Intelligence Agency (Badan Intelijen Negara – BIN) in the death of Mr. Munir. On 23 June 2005, the report of the TPF was submitted to the President of the Republic, Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, but had still not been made public by the end of 2005.

By the end of 2005, no real progress had been made in the investigation into the involvement of the real authors of Mr. Munir's murder.

Death threats against Messrs. Mugiyanto, Usman Hamid, Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara and Thoby Mutis37

On 27 May 2005, during a training seminar in Bangkok (Thailand), the Asian Federation Against Forced Disappearances (AFAD) received death threats by fax against Mr. Mugiyanto, president of the Indonesian Association of Families of the Disappeared, Mr. Usman Hamid, KONTRAS coordinator and a member of the official investigation team into the death of Mr. Munir, Mr. Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara, president of KOMNAS-HAM, and Mr. Thoby Mutis, president of the Trisakti University and an activist for democracy and human rights.

KONTRAS, AFAD and KOMNAS-HAM are involved in the investigations into human rights violations committed by the Suharto regime during his 32-year reign.

Ban on the entry of Mrs. Sidney Jones38

On 24 November 2005, Mrs. Sidney Jones, director of the South-East Asia project for the International Crisis Group (ICG), was once more prevented from entering the Indonesian territory, while she was returning to Jakarta, where she lives, from Taipei (Taiwan), where she had accepted an award from the Time Magazine in the name of ICG.

Previously, in June 2004, the work visa of Mrs. Sidney Jones, along with that of her research assistant, had been cancelled by the government of Mrs. Megawati Soekarnoputri. The expulsion of Mrs. Jones appeared at the time to be related to her criticism of the military operations in Aceh and Papua. However, in July 2005, under the government of Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Mrs. Jones had obtained a work and residence permit without any difficulty.


[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

35. See Annual Report 2004.

36. See Annual Report 2004 and Urgent Appeal IDN 001/0605/OBS 041.

37. See Urgent Appeal IDN 001/0605/OBS 041.

38. See Annual Report 2004.

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