Urgent Interventions

Indonesia: Death threats against several defenders


IDN 001 / 0605 / OBS 041
Death threats

June 10, 2005

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Indonesia.

Brief description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD) of death threats against Messrs. Mugiyanto Sri Suparyati, chairman of the Indonesian Association of Families of the Disappeared, Usman Hamid, coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (KONTRAS), Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara, chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights (KOMNAS HAM) and Thoby Mutis, President of the Trisakti University.

According to the information received, a letter was sent by fax to AFAD on May 27, 2005, during its training seminar in Bangkok on “Protecting persons from enforced or involuntary disappearances” . It was signed by a person identifying himself as Mr. Julfikar, “Defender of the New Order” and contained death threats against Messrs. Mugiyanto Sri Suparyati, Thoby Mutis, Usman Hamid and Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara. This letter stated: "As allies of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) bastards, you all have to be eliminated till all your roots (descendants, ed). We from Defenders of Suharto (the New Order Regime) will kill the four of you within 14 days. You have to die!!!.”

The Observatory also recalls that KONTRAS, AFAD and KOMNAS HAM are involved in the investigations of human rights violations perpetrated by the Suharto regime during the 32 years of his reign. KONTRAS and KOMNAS HAM were threatened, even attacked by military and paramilitary troops because of their activities in that field in 2003 (See Annual Report of the Observatory 2003). Mr. Thoby Mutis, as president of the Trisakti University, promotes democracy and human rights. It should be recalled that in May 1998, five students of this university were killed during demonstrations against the Suharto regime, cases in which justice is still being sought.

The Observatory is deeply concerned by these threats and recalls that Mr. Munir, chairman of the AFAD and co-founder of KONTRAS, died on board of a flight from Jakarta to Amsterdam on September 7, 2004, after being poisoned (See Annual Report of the Observatory 2004). Mr. Usman Hamid is a member of the official fact-finding team to investigate into Mr. Munir’s murder.

The Observatory recalls these acts of harassment constitute flagrant violations of article 12.2 of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998 which states that “The State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.”

Actions requested:
Please write to the Indonesian authorities and ask them to:
i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Mugiyanto Sri Suparyati, Thoby Mutis, Usman Hamid and Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara;

ii. Conduct a fair, impartial and independent inquiry into these threats, in order to identify the authors, bring them to justice and pronounce sentences proportional to the gravity of their crimes;

iii. Conform with the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular articles 1 which states that “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels” and 12(2), mentioned above;

iv. ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Indonesia.

  • President of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Presidential Palace, Istana Merdeka, Jakarta 10110, Indonesia; Fax: +6221 345 2685/526 8726

  • Minister for Justice and Human Rights, Mr. Hamid Awaluddin, Jl. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav No. 4-5, Kuningan - Jakarta Selatan 12950, Indonesia, Fax: + 62 21 525 3095/ 310 4149/ 522 5036

  • Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia in Geneva, Rue de Saint-Jean 16, Case Postale 2271, 1211 Geneva 2, Suisse, fax: +41 22 345 57 33, e-mail:

Paris – Geneva, June 10, 2005

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
Tel and fax FIDH 33 (0) 1 43 55 20 11 / 01 43 55 18 80
Tel and fax OMCT + 4122 809 49 39 / 41 22 809 49 29
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