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This report is dedicated to the memory of Munir Said Thalib (1965-2004), known as Munir. Widely recognized as one of Indonesia’s foremost human rights defenders, Munir was an outspoken critic of abuses by Indonesia’s security forces and a strong advocate of reform. Munir was poisoned on a September 2004 flight to the Netherlands. There is little doubt that Munir was murdered in retaliation for his exemplary human rights work. His memory continues to inspire new generations of activists, in Indonesia and beyond.

The report was researched and written by Lisa Misol, researcher in the Business and Human Rights Program of Human Rights Watch. It was edited by Brad Adams, Director of the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch; Arvind Ganesan, Director of the Business and Human Rights Program; Charmain Mohamed, researcher in the Asia Division; and Joseph Saunders, Deputy Program Director. Ian Gorvin, consultant to the Program office, conducted the program review, and James Ross, Senior Legal Advisor, conducted the legal review. Outside counsel Usman Hamid, Todung Mulya Lubis, Elizabeth Wang, and others provided additional legal review. Edmund Bon also assisted with legal matters.

Charmain Mohamed and Agus (last name withheld for security reasons) assisted with the research for this report. Joseph Saunders and Human Rights Watch board member David M. Brown helped research certain portions of the report. Additional research support was provided by Lawrence Boyd, Ronald Lengkong, Brihannala Morgan, and Michael Roston. Human Rights Watch associate Carly Tubbs and former associate Manu Krishnan also provided background research.

Human Rights Watch would like to thank the numerous organizations and individuals that contributed to this report, including the government officials who agreed to be interviewed or otherwise provided information. We regret that space and security considerations prevent us from naming everyone who helped us. We extend a special thanks to the organizations that assisted with the field research reflected in the report, namely LBH Medan, Komunitas Sumpit, PADI Indonesia, and Walhi-South Kalimantan. We also are grateful to the outside readers who agreed to comment on a draft of the report. These include Nicole Ball, Col. (ret.) Don McFetridge, Mufti Makarim al-Ahlaq, Danang Widoyoko, and a reader who preferred to remain anonymous. Numerous interpreters and translators also facilitated our work. Human Rights Watch bears sole responsibility for the contents of the report.

Layout and production of this report were coordinated by Carly Tubbs; Veronica Matushaj, photo editor and associate director in the Development and Outreach division; Andrea Holley, manager of outreach and public education; and Fitroy Hepkins, mail manager in the Publications division. The map accompanying the report was prepared by Apperceptive (

Finally, we wish to acknowledge with appreciation the generous financial support of David M. Brown.

<<previous  |  indexJune 2006