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Prompt announcement of investigation results needed

September 30, 2011
A Joint Statement by the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (KontraS) and the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

INDONESIA: Prompt announcement of investigation results needed to ensure fairness and professionalism

During the Suharto era, every September 30 the public was reminded of the 30 September movement--the failed coup--orchestrated by the Indonesian Communist Party. The Indonesian public would annually be shown the Communist Party’s cruelty to the army generals, but was never told of the methodology behind the Party’s fall.

On 1 October 1965, president Suharto ordered the Indonesian military to clean up the Indonesian Communist Party, along with its followers. More than three million people, accused of alleged involvement in the 30 September movement have suffered gross human rights violation since then. Thousands of people were detained in military camps and prisons for years, without due process of law. Others were tortured and brutally murdered. Moreover, their children and grandchildren were also tainted with the communist stigma; they were thus excommunicated and could not continue their education, the ramifications of which continue today.

In May 2008, Indonesia’s national commission on human rights (Komnas HAM) established a pro-justicia investigation team to investigate cases of human rights violation that occurred between 1965-66. The investigation team has so far examined 357 victims from various regions, such as Palembang, Solo, Denpasar, Maumere, Medan, Manado, Palu, Buru Island, Balikpapan, Samarinda, Pangkal Pinang and Mataram.

After conducting investigations for more than three years, Komnas HAM held a plenary meeting on 5 July 2011 and was supposed to make public the result of its investigation. However, the plenary meeting decided to delay the announcement until August 10 as the investigation team still had to complete its file. On August 10, Komnas HAM yet again delayed announcing the investigation results, this time indefinitely, and for no obvious reason.

KontraS and the AHRC are of the opinion that this continual prolonging is caused by Komnas HAM not being serious in resolving the tragedy of 1965-66, and the pressure from various sources that do not want the disclosure of these cases. As an independent institution, Komnas HAM must be able to deal with these pressures and work more professionally.

KontraS and the AHRC also urge the government to provide adequate compensation and rehabilitation to the victims of the 1965-66 tragedy.
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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

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