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From VOA Learning English, this is In The News.
The Indonesian human rights activist Munir Said Thalib was killed 10 years ago this month. Today, his death remains unsolved, but not forgotten. Indonesia is now preparing to swear-in a new president. The governor of Jakarta, Joko Widodo, was elected to the position earlier this year.
Munir Said Thalib died at a time when civil rights and freedom of speech were suppressed in Indonesia. The activist helped to uncover evidence of the military’s involvement in human rights abuses in East Timor and Aceh. He accused high-level members of the state intelligence agency of involvement in two deadly military operations. One involved the kidnapping and disappearance of student activists during the riots that led to the resignation of former President Suharto.
But speaking truth to power proved harmful. Munir was given arsenic, a poison, while traveling to Amsterdam on September 7, 2004. He died before his Garuda Indonesia flight landed in The Netherlands. It was unclear if he was poisoned on the flight or during a stop in Singapore. Many believe those responsible for his death have never faced justice.
Munir led the Indonesian Human Rights Monitor IMPARSIAL before his death. Ardi Mantro Aridputra works for the group. He says the case is a test for Indonesia.
He says the president-elect must take a firm position to create good and useful change in the future.
Three individuals from Garuda Indonesia were found guilty of charges linked to the murder. But many people believe the three did not act alone.
Some activists claim that those accused were acting on orders from the National Intelligence Agency. They point to evidence of telephone calls and visits between one of the jailed suspects and the deputy chief of intelligence at the time.
But during legal hearings, activists say, evidence was suppressed, and some witnesses withdrew their statements.
Activists point to a United States diplomatic cable from 2007. The Wikileaks website published the cable. It said witnesses claimed the former chief of the state intelligence agency “chaired…meetings at which Munir’s assassination was planned.”
This month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a statement about Munir’s killing. In his words, “full accountability for all those allegedly involved remains elusive.”
But some Indonesians say the new president is unlikely to reopen the case. Aleksius Jemadu heads the school of political science at Pelita Harapan University.
“The culture of impunity is so strong, its massive, and I don’t think that he (Jokowi) has the ability, he has the experience in order to, to, to face such a huge challenge because for me it is like (there is) a changing, tacit agreement among the elites not to investigate all these past human rights violations (as) seriously as we might expect or (the) United States might expect.”
During his first term as president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono set up an independent team to investigate the case. Activists are urging the president-elect to make the results of the investigation known after he takes office.
Haris Azhar is with the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence, a non-governmental organization. He says Indonesia needs a brave leader.
“It’s already there, everything – the evidence, the pressures, the attentions, it’s already there. What, what we need to do, what we need to have is just a, a, a courageous government to solve the case. That’s all.”
Joko Widodo is expected to work mainly on two issues when he becomes president. They are government assistance on fuel purchases and negotiating with a parliament in which his coalition holds the minority.
And that’s In The News, from VOA Learning English.
I’m Christopher Cruise.
印度尼西亚的人权活动家Munir Said Thalib于10年前的9月被害。如今他的死仍未得到解决，但也未被遗忘。印度尼西亚目前正准备新总统宣誓就职。雅加达市长Joko Widodo于今年早些时候当选总统。
Munir Said Thalib死亡的时候正是印度尼西亚的公民权利和言论自由被镇压的时期。该活动家帮助找到了军方在东帝汶和亚齐卷入人权侵犯事件的证据。他指控国家情报机构的高层人员介入了两起致命的军事行动。其中一起涉及了在暴动期间学生活动家的被绑架和失踪案，并且还导致了前总统Suharto辞职。
Munir生前前领导着印度尼西亚人权监察机构IMPARSIAL。Ardi Mantro Aridputra就职于此机构。他表示此案是对印度尼西亚的一次考验。
但一些印尼尼西亚人说新总统不大可能重新审理此案。Aleksius Jemadu负责印度尼西亚Pelita Harapan大学的政治学学院。
“Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono总统在他首个总统任期期间成立了一个独立小组来调查此案。活动家们督促新当选的总统Jokowi在就职后公布此次调查结果。