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​Komnas HAM declares 1965 purge a gross human rights violation

Graphic: Office of Komnas Ham

The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has declared that the systematic prosecution of alleged members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) after the failed 1965 coup was a gross human rights violation, the Jakarta Post reported.

In its 850-page report submitted to the Attorney General's Office, Komnas HAM urged that military officials who were involved in the purge be brought to trial for various crimes, including mass rape, torture and killings.

Komnas HAM gathered testimony from 349 witnesses during more than three years of investigation.

Nur Kholis, the head of Komnas Ham's investigation team, said that military officials had deliberately targeted innocent civilians during the operations, which occurred nationwide.

"Many of the victims had nothing to do with the communist party or its subordinates. The military officials made it look like those people were linked to the party," he said.

After the 30 September 1965 movement, thousands of people – some estimate as many as 500,000 – who were suspected of being PKI members were killed. Many more were imprisoned for years without charge.

The discrimination against people associated with the PKI continued with the government barring them from roles as civil servants, military officers, teachers or clerics. Former members of PKI also found it hard to get jobs due to the ex-political prisoner status on their identity cards.

Komnas Ham has demanded that the government issue a formal apology to victims and their families. The apology should be followed by rehabilitation, reparation and compensation.

Date: 23 July 2012

Image credits

  1. Office of Komnas Ham - APF