Young rebels: Children, accompanied by their mothers, pose during a peaceful rally in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Friday. The protest organizer, the Committee of Actions and Solidarity for Munir (Kasum), is demanding that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launch a new investigation into the killing of the human rights defender, who was killed eight years ago today. (JP/Yuliasri Perdani)
Hundreds of protesters spoke out and sung anthems in front of the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Friday, demanding the President - attending an international summit in Russia - to open a new investigation into the murder of human rights defender Munir.
It has been eight years since human rights activist Munir Said Thalib was poisoned aboard a Garuda Indonesia flight. And yet, hundreds people remain loyal enough to show up every year demanding the government to reveal his murder's paymasters.
"Honestly, we feel tired struggling for so long but maling no progress. But, someone has to stand up for his rights. We won't give up," said Astry from the Committee of Action and Solidarity for Munir (Kasum).
Another activist, Marthen Goo from the National Solidarity of Papua (Napas), shares the same spirit.
He has participated in the event for the last five years, juggling time with his activities in Papua.
"People who fight for the truth are our friend and we must support them. Therefore, I've come here for Munir," Marthen told The Jakarta Post Digital.
Munir's murder is not only widely-discussed by intellectuals and activists, but also among ordinary residents and teenagers.
A siomay (dumpling) vendor, Suratin, said that he has been following the case in the newspapers.
"I just doesn't feel right that someone suddenly dies on a plane," said the 49-year-old man.
This year, the case also gained popularity among younger generations, thanks to the melawan lupa (do not forget) campaign on Twitter.
Hundreds of Twitter users, including celebrities and politicians, featured Munir's image as their avatar, and shared their thoughts and hopes on the unsolved murder case.
Then, teenagers started to learn more about the slain activist, while large numbers of teenagers could not even figure out who the man in the picture was.
"Currently, most people don't know our national heroes like Tan Malaka, let alone Munir," said activist Astry.
She admitted that activists needed to put more effort in educating people about the human rights hero.
Among the creative campaigns is an art performance and a movie screening scheduled for Thursday. (yps/swd)