Munir and the Dark Traces of Protection Against Human Rights Defenders in Indonesia

Date : 2020-11-28
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Category: Politics

After sixteen years of waiting and various processes to demand justice for the case of the death of human rights activist Munir Said Thalib. To this day the state is still making progress in providing legal certainty and fulfilling the rights of victims in the murder case against Munir. The Munir murder case is one of the black records in the history of protecting, fulfilling and respecting human rights in post-Reformation Indonesia. Munir's murder case is not only a public concern in the national sector, but also internationally to this day. On several occasions, the UN Human Rights Committee report stated that the Indonesian government must immediately follow up on the Munir murder case, including a statement from the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders who specifically urged the Indonesian government to resolve the case immediately. Because in the process, no main puppeteer was sentenced or opened publicly and tried in accordance with the applicable law.

Munir died on a Garuda flight number GA-974 which was departing from Singapore to Amsterdam on September 7, 2004. The results of Munir's autopsy conducted by the Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI) found that Munir died of arsenic poison with a fatal dose. The government during the leadership era of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) has formed a Fact Finding Team (TPF) which in turn made several important findings, including that Munir's murder was a planned murder that was carried out in a structured manner by the State Intelligence Agency (BIN). However, in the results of the trial, only the direct executor received a criminal sentence, namely Pollycarpus, who has now been released on the grounds of good behavior. However, the main mastermind behind Munir's murder plan was never revealed. TPF met with President SBY to report on the progress of Munir's case because the TPF found strong indications that this crime was a conspiracy and not an individual crime, in which individuals and officials from PT. Garuda Indonesia, either directly or indirectly.

Flash killings or what are commonly referred to as extrajudicial killings are illegal killings that are often carried out by authoritarian states against political enemies, groups considered to be dissidents or the opposition, including human rights defenders. Flash killings are considered the most unethical act committed and are categorized as crimes against humanity. Human rights defenders are often targeted by the state in blitzkrieg because of the critical attitude of human rights defenders towards state policies and measures to be in line with the values ​​of human rights, justice and democracy. Article 1 of the United Nations Principles on Effective Prevention and Investigation of Arrests and Extrajudicial Killings states that "Governments must legally prohibit arbitrary killing". Extrajudicial killings violate national laws that violate other extrajudicial killing because it is contrary to the right to life which is also stated in Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Many countries have constitutional regulations that explain human rights, including Indonesia. However, in practice, blitzkrieg is still carried out to this day, especially against human rights defenders, which ultimately leads to impunity and a recurring pattern as a threat to human rights defenders in Indonesia.

The reluctance of the state to publicly disclose the Fact-Finding Team (TPF) document on the Munir murder case shows that the state does maintain impunity and hinders the protection of human rights defenders in Indonesia. In fact, in 2017 KontraS together with the civil society coalition submitted a Public Information Commission hearing where the verdict of the trial stated that the Munir TPF document was a public document that had to be officially announced by the government as an effort of accountability and transparency. Komnas HAM has recommended and encouraged the state to open the TPF document, but the government still argues that Munir's TPF document has been lost. Official state documents that should have been disclosed to the public and considered missing show that the state is not serious about handling cases of attacks against human rights defenders and has hampered advocacy efforts for Munir's murder, and the pattern of attacks on human rights defenders continues to recur.

As a human rights defender, a person can act to advance human rights on behalf of a group or individual. The long record of attacks and assassinations since the New Order era and the Reform era continues. Starting from Munir, Marsinah, Salim Kancil, Golfrid Siregar, to students who were involved in the Dikor Reform action.

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