The Indonesian website Tempointeraktif just reported that Pollycarpus, the Garuda pilot who killed human rights activist Munir, was granted a month long holiday leave from prison. This makes my blood boil! I'm sure that this emotion does not match the Christmas spirit, but I just cannot help it. In May this year Pollycarpus was finally sentenced to twenty years in prison for pouring arsenic in Munir's orange juice three years ago. After serving six months and 'behaving well', he can already spend a months in freedom with his family.
Simultaneously, the suspected mastermind of the murder, Muchdi, former deputy director of Indonesia's state intelligence agency, is on trial and awaiting the 31st of December when he will be sentenced. The prosecution only asked the court for a 15 year sentence, which is naturally far too lenient.
The Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has stated that the Munir case would be a testcase for Indonesian democracy. He committed to ensuring the murderers would be sentenced. It is however to be seen whether these sentences will match the crime committed and whether they will actually be carried out accordingly. Read more in Inside Indonesia.
As each year with Christmas, my thoughts go out to Munir's wife, Suciwati, and their two beautiful children. And of course to all those people that strive for justice; not only for Munir, but also for all other victims of human rights violations in the world.