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Munir (on the left)

Munir (on the left)
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Munir was later killed. He is pictured here at a talk we had for our justice program.

From Wikipedia:

Munir Said Thalib (December 8, 1965 – September 7, 2004), affectionally known simply as 'Munir', is Indonesia's most famous Human Rights and anti-corruption activist. The founder of the Kontras human rights organisation and laureate of the Right Livelihood Award, Munir was assassinated in 2004 while travelling to Utrecht University to pursue a doctorate in international law and human rights.

Political activist career

Educated in law at Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java, Munir started his career in 1989 as a legal aid officier in the capital of East Java, Surabaya. Soon Munir had become Indonesia's top human rights campaigner and regularly spoke out for justice in the face of intimidation, including death threats. He was an especially vocal critic of Indonesia's military, accusing it of numerous human rights violations in East Timor and the troubled provinces of Papua and Aceh. The 38-year-old activist also accused them of running a criminal network involved in illegal tree logging and drug smuggling.

Assassination and aftermath

Munir was poisoned with arsenic on a flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam on September 7, 2004. He was travelling on state-owned airline Garuda Indonesia. When the results of the autopsy were released two months later, on November 12, (the Netherlands Forensic Institute) revealed that Munir's body contained a level of Arsenic almost three times that needed to kill a person. This was later confirmed by Indonesian police.
Three suspects - Pollycarpus Priyanto, a former pilot who allegedly gave up his business class seat to Munir during the flight, and two flight attendants. It is alleged that he (Priyanto) placed the Arsenic in Munir's orange juice, upon orders from Garuda's chief executive. Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono proclaimed that he will make sure that Munir's killers are brought to justice.

In December 2005 Pollycarpus Priyanto was found guilty of Munir's murder by an Indonesian court and sentenced to fourteen years' imprisonment. Munir's supporters claim that Priyanto was acting on orders and that this was not brought out during the court case.
Date: 2006-03-12 20:44:28
Munir Shinto Taufik

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