'They murdered Munir,' is written on a sign at the office of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras). (SP Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)

The Hague to Unveil Street Named After Murdered Activist Munir

APRIL 03, 2015

Jakarta. A bicycle path is set to be officially inaugurated in The Hague to commemorate the prominent Indonesian human rights activist Munir Said Thalib, who was murdered in 2004 on his way to the Netherlands.

Suciwati, Munir's widow, was quoted as saying by Tempo.co on Friday that she would attend a ceremony on April 11, while local media in the Netherlands reported that a ceremony to unveil the Munirpad, or Munir Path, would be held on April 14.

A researcher at the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Indria Fernida, told the Indonesian news portal that the Dutch government had been expressing its intention to use Munir's name for a street in The Hague since 2011.

Ultimately, the city administration of The Hague — seat of the Dutch government — decided in October last year to name a 500-meter long bike path after the Indonesian activist.

The path runs between two avenues, the Martin Luther Kinglaan and the Architect Berlagelaan, in an area of the city with streets named after such prominent historical figures as Dag Hammarskjold, Albert Schweitzer, Salvador Allende and Mahatma Gandhi.

Munir, who founded Kontras, died on Sept. 7, 2004, at the age of 39 during a trip from Jakarta to Amsterdam. He was on his way to join a master's program in the Netherlands, but was poisoned with arsenic during a layover in Singapore.

He was the executive director of Imparsial, another human rights group, at the time of his death and had been an outspoken critic of members of the Indonesian security forces he accused of involvement in a variety of criminal enterprises.

Former Garuda Indonesia pilot Pollycarpus Budihari Priyanto was convicted of the murder and served eight years of a 14-year sentence before being released on parole late last year.

Pointing to the apparent lack of a motive for the murder, activists say Pollycarpus is highly unlikely to have acted of his own accord and that the mastermind behind the assassination remains at large.