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TAPOL welcomes the arrest of Muchdi PR

the arrest yesterday of muchdi purwopranjono to face the charge of the murder of human rights activist, munir, is a major step forward in efforts to end the culture of impunity in indonesia.
20 June 2008
The arrest yesterday of Muchdi Purwopranjono to face the charge of the murder of human rights activist, Munir, is a major step forward in efforts to end the culture of impunity in Indonesia.

TAPOL warmly welcomes the arrest and calls upon the judiciary to proceed with the case as quickly as possible and to ensure that the principles of justice and transparency are upheld throughout the legal process.

It is now nearly four years since Munir was murdered on 7 September 2004 while travelling to The Netherlands. After a lengthy period during which little was done to solve the murder, several important steps have been taken in the past year with the conviction of the off-duty pilot, Pollycarpus who is now serving a twenty-year sentence for his role in the murder. It was during the judicial review by the Supreme Court of the case against Pollycarpus that information came to light about the co-pilot's repeated communications with Muchdi PR before and after the murder.

A Fact-Finding Team set up the President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono shortly after the murder came to the conclusion that the murder of Munir was the work of a conspiracy and drew attention to the role of the intelligence services in the crime. Ever since the Suharto era, these forces have retained a formidable position within the establishment.

These facts highlight the significance of the arrest of Muchdi PR who was formerly head of Indonesia's special forces, Kopassus, and was the deputy head of the National Intelligence Aggency, BIN, at the time of the murder.

Persistent efforts by Munir's widow, Suciwati together with KontraS (Commission for the Disappeared and the Victims of Violence) to solve the case have at last borne fruit. The main slogan of their campaign has been: 'Justice for Munir, Justice for All', highlighting the link between resolution of this crime and the beginning of the process to end the culture of impunity in Indonesia.

The campaign has also benefited from international support, largely thanks to Suciwati's many visits around the world to draw attention to the murder of her husband.

The forthcoming trial of Muchdi PR is now eagerly awaited by human rights activists in Indonesia and around the world and may well bring to light more information about the extent and depth of the conspiracy that led to the tragic death of Indonesia's foremost human rights activist.

Indonesia's reputation as a country that upholds the rule of law is certain to be enhanced by the successful conclusion of the trial.