Remembering Munir The inaugural Munir Said Thalib Memorial Lecture on human rights in Indonesia

“[Munir’s case] will be the test of our history.”
Indonesian President Susilo
Bambang Yudhoyono

“What we should fear most is the feeling of fear, because the feeling of fear
will destroy our judgement, our logic.”

Indonesian Human Rights Champion Munir
Said Thalib (1965-2004)

The Munir Said Thalib Memorial Lecture marks the 5th anniversary of the
assassination of Indonesian Human Rights Champion Munir Said Thalib. By
‘Remembering Munir’ we remember all defenders of human rights in Indonesia who
have been killed or disappeared without justice.

Date: 7th September, 2009
Time: 5pm–8pm
Venue: LT106 - Lecture Theatre – Eastern Avenue
University of Sydney
Entry: Free

History of the Munir case

On 7th September 2004, leading Indonesian human rights lawyer Munir Said Thalib,
a 38-year-old father of two, boarded a Garuda Airlines flight to Amsterdam, to
study at a university there. But Munir became severely ill enroute, and was
pronounced dead on arrival in the Netherlands. An autopsy subsequently performed
by the Netherlands Forensic Institute found massive amounts of arsenic in
Munir’s system.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesia ’s first directly-elected president, created
an independent fact-finding team (Tim Pencari Fakta, or TPF) to investigate
Munir’s death. SBY declared that the Munir case was a test of Indonesian

In June 2005 the team gave its report to the president. The report recommended
that senior officials in the State Intelligence Agency and Garuda Airlines be
fully investigated and prosecuted as appropriate, meanwhile the report was never
made public.

Polycarpus Priyanto, a former Garuda Indonesia pilot, was sentenced to 20 years
imprisonment for serving Munir a poisonous drink while the victim was in transit
in Singapore ’s Changi airport, thereby causing Munir’s death. A team found
contacts between Polycarpus and Retired Major General Muchdi Purwopranjono, a
former deputy at Indonesia ’s National Intelligence Agency (BIN). In addition an
Indonesian court sentenced Indra Setiawan, a former airline official, to one
year in prison as an accessory to the murder.

Indonesia’s Supreme Court has upheld the ruling of a district court to acquit
Purwopranjono, accused of ordering the execution of Munir, much to the
disappointment of Munir’s widow, Suciwati, who has been active in keeping his
case in the public eye.

In this lecture, Professor Tim Lindsey will explain the judicial process of
Munir’s case and how far the Indonesian legal system has been reformed since
Suharto resigned to address human rights cases in Indonesia. In addition what
does the re-election of SBY mean for Indonesia ’s legal system and what of SBY’s
promise to make the prosecution of Munir’s murderers a test of Indonesian

Professor Tim Lindsey is Professor of Asian Law and Director of the Asian Law
Centre and Director of the Centre for Islamic Law and Society, both at the
University of Melbourne. Since 2006, Tim has been an ARC Federation Fellow,
working on Islam and law in Southeast Asia. He is currently Chair of the
Australia-Indonesia Institute, and a practising barrister. In 2006, Tim received
a Carrick teaching awards Citation and in 2007 won the Malcolm Smith Award for
Excellence in Teaching at the University of Melbourne.

Tim’s publications include ‘Indonesia: Law and Society’ (now its second, revised
and enlarged edition), ‘Indonesia: Bankruptcy, Law Reform and the Commercial
Court’, ‘Corruption in Asia’ (with Howard Dick), ‘Chinese Indonesians:
Remembering, Distorting, Forgetting’ (with Helen Pausacker) and ‘Law Reform in
Developing and Transitional States’, as well as ‘The Romance of K’tut Tantri and
Indonesia’, recently republished in Equinox’s ‘Classic Indonesia’ series. Tim is
also a founding editor of the Australian Journal of Asian Law.

This forum is being organised by Indonesian Solidarity and supported by the
Faculty of Law, Caplus (Centre for Asian and Pacific Law) and the Department of
Indonesian Studies at the University of Sydney.

For further info or media enquiries please contact:
indonesian_solidarity or telephone: (02) 9217-3874. Thank you very
much/Terima kasih banyak.


* APSN Solidarity News.

* Tim Lindsey is an ARC Federation Fellow, Professor of Law and Director of the
Asian Law Centre at Melbourne University. He is also Director of Melbourne
University’s Centre for Islamic Law and Society.

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