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Government must make breakthrough in Munir case - HRWG

Kompas - April 10, 2007

Jakarta Ė In order to increase the chances of Indonesia being reelected as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the government must soon make a breakthrough in investigating the murder of human rights activist Munir.

"Such a breakthrough could be in the form of a naming a new suspect or inviting the UN Human Rights Commission's special rapporteur to come to Indonesia to review the Munir case", said Rafendi Djamin from the Human Right Working Group on Monday April 9. Djamin is the head of a non-government organisation delegation from Indonesia that attended the 3rd Session of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva on March 12-30.

According to Djamin, among other things the session agreed that the commission would hold the next hearing on June 11-18. Before this however, the election of members of the Human Rights Council will be held in late May. "Indonesia it seems will re-nominate itself as a member of the UN Human Rights Council", said Djamin.

Djamin said that the Munir case would become a pebble in the shoe for Indonesia's plans because there are several parties that raised discussion of the Munir murder case during the last council session. They were the forced disappearances working group, the UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings and the special representative of the UN secretary general for the protection of human rights defenders.

"UN special rapporteur Philips Alston, in an official report on the Munir case to the UN Human Rights Council made the evaluation that the Indonesian government has shown a cooperative attitude but it was incomplete", said Djamin.

Speaking separately, Hendardi from the Solidarity Committee for Munir said he has got the impression that the police will soon announce a new suspect in the case. "However, the announcement of a new suspect, if it is indeed done soon, doesn't guarantee that Indonesia's nomination for the UN Human Rights Commission is secure or that it will satisfy the public", said Hendardi after meeting with the head of the Criminal Investigation Bureau, General Bambang Hendarso Danuri late yesterday afternoon. (NWO)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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