Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Indonesia's 1965-1966 Massacre a Gross Violation of Human Rights

After a long and tiring struggle, on July 23, 2012 the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) finally announced that the massacre of more than 500,000 persons accused of being the members and sympathizers of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) in 1965-1966 is a gross violation of human rights. This conclusion is based on the result of the preliminary investigation of the Komnas HAM for four years.

"Our investigation has concluded that the mass killing was organized, done systematically and widespread all across the archipelago except Papua. The killings had also featured similar patterns, starting with victims being arrested and detained in military camp, where they were interrogated, tortured, raped or murdered,” said Nur Kholis, the head of Komnas HAM’s investigative team, at a press briefing on Monday as reported by The Jakarta Post newspaper (

The investigation of Komnas HAM took 4 years by questioning more than 400 victims and witnesses. The report of Komnas HAM is 840 pages thick.

On Wednesday, 25 July 2012, victims group and NGOs (Kontras, IKOHI, Elsam, AJAR and LBH Jakarta) carried out a press conference in response to the report of Komnas HAM.

The speakers consider that "the National Human Rights Commission inquiry report has opened the door for a variety of measures to revealed the truth, provide legal certainty and justice for the victims and bring a change in the alignment of history through the recognition of the various practices of violence in the past, especially in our politics of the New Order regime. This is an important step, by given the condition of the victim of growing concern, due to old, sick and poor. In fact, based on the information from the region in recent months, there are at least four victims who died a month. Until now, victims still has been received discrimination laws or social stigma. This indicates that until the final seconds of the release of this report, the victims still continue to get impact of the continuing as a result of incidents occurring in the past"

The organizations put the following recommendations:
1. President with the House of Representative should immediately issued a decree forming Ad Hoc court that the Attorney General can investigate the recommendation from National Commission of Human Rights without delay
2. Attorney-General should immediately follow up the further investigation by call witnesses, and suspects who are still alive
3. The House of Representative should conduct effective oversight to the Attorney General and the Government to ensure the implementation of the NHRI's recommendations.
4. President should immediately take the necessary steps to develop policies for the recovery of the immediate victims, both associated with the reparation, rehabilitation and cessation of discrimination against victims
5. NHRI to submit the report also directly to the President and the Parliament, given the nature and special character of the massacre would be covered in the investigation of 1965-1967.
6. Witness and Victims Protection Agency to maximize the support of fulfillment the rights of victim by referring to the NHRI's report.

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