Current Affairs

The thinking behind the man called Munir

Munir Said Thalib was poisoned by arsenic

Islam is a religion of civilisation. Extremism and intolerance destroy civilisation. This is in contrast with the function of religion, which is to improve human life.”

At a glance, you might think that these are the words of a philosopher or religious figure. But they are not. They are the words of Munir Said Thalib, Indonesia’s most famous human rights defender, who was poisoned to death 16 years ago today.

Munir died on Garuda Indonesia flight GA974 from Jakarta to Amsterdam on 7 September 2004. An autopsy carried out by the Dutch authorities showed that his body contained arsenic at levels three times the lethal dose. But the Indonesian government has never followed up on the report of a fact-finding team (TPF) to order an independent investigation into his case.

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