Thursday, January 24, 2008

Assassination Update

The activist threatened with "a Munir" -- assassination -- by Indonesian intelligence (BIN) has, people say, arrived on foreign soil, after fleeing his native country. (See posting of January 22, 2008, "Breaking News: Indonesian Intelligence (BIN) Threatens to Kill Activist").

But he shouldn't count his chickens prematurely.

The country he's in has been known to do its own assassinations -- some of them on foreign soil -- and, as is often the case among killer rulers, has an "intelligence" relationship with Jakarta.

Its just a question of who feels politically empowered/ compelled to ask whom to do what.

And what is this man supposed to do now? Live hiding in exile away from work and family and away from his efforts to stand up to certain powers and, as he's been heard to say, "help my country, Indonesia"?

It is said that the US Embassy in Jakarta is well aware of BIN threats against activists. Some hope that the Embassy may now make "representations," an old diplomatic practice, which entails using one hand/finger to make "human rights" admonishments to the regime you're sponsoring, while using the other to hand over fresh supplies of guns, bullets, and money to the admonishees.

And even if BIN -- ie. President Susilo, the General who runs Indonesia -- decided to call the whole thing off, what precisely would they do?

Send a note to the activist's family saying 'Come home. It's OK. We've decided not to kill you'?

Such a statement might indeed be enough to lure a brave man home, but the only thing that would be enough to really guarantee his -- and others' -- safety would be to oust murderers from power and have their decisions made for them by jailers.

NOTE TO READERS: News and Comment is looking for assistance with translating blog postings into other languages, and also with fund raising and distributing the blog content more widely. Those interested please get in touch via the e-mail link below.

NOTE TO READERS RE. TRANSLATION: Portions of News and Comment are now available in Danish, French, German and Spanish translation (click on Profile link above) but translation help is still needed, in these and all other languages.

Email Me