28 March 2007
The Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions issued the following statement today:
“The Government of Indonesia should release the final report of the Presidential Fact-Finding team and investigate all those implicated by the report into the murder of Munir Said Thalib,” says Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
A report released by Alston yesterday discusses the government’s response to Munir’s murder. He presented his findings to the UN Human Rights Council on Tuesday.
Alston brought his concerns to the attention of the Government in November 2006 after he received information that the Indonesian Supreme Court had acquitted the only person ever convicted for the murder of Munir Said Thalib, a leading human rights activist, despite reported evidence of a conspiracy involving many suspects, some of whom are high-ranking intelligence officers.
Munir died of poisoning on Garuda flight 974 from Singapore to Amsterdam on 6 September 2004. His death was investigated by an independent fact-finding team, Tim Pencari Fakta (TPF), established by presidential decree on 23 December 2004. However, that report has never been made public, and its key recommendations and findings appear to have been ignored. Reportedly, the TPF identified Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto, an off-duty co-pilot who was on Munir’s flight, as a primary suspect in the case. It also suggested the involvement of senior employees of the Garuda airline and of high-ranking intelligence officials in Munir’s death.
In a letter dated 19 January 2007, the government responded to Alston’s inquiries in a manner that he characterized as “cooperative but incomplete”.
“It is encouraging that the President has reaffirmed that the government continues to work to find those who are guilty of Munir’s murder,” says Alston. “But it is disturbing that it has still not taken the obvious step of releasing the fact-finding report and acting on its recommendations.”
Philip Alston was appointed as Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on 13 July 2004. In 2006, the Commission on Human Rights was replaced by the Human Rights Council, and Alston now reports to the Council.
For further information on the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, see: http://www.ohchr.org/english/issues/executions/ http://www.extrajudicialexecutions.org/
The report that Alston presented to the Human Rights Council on March 27 is UN Doc. No. A/HRC/4/20, and communications with governments are included in A/HRC/4/20/Add.1.
For use of the information media; not an official record