Period September 2014 till September 2016

The Foundation IPT 1965 aims to address the crimes against humanity in Indonesia committed the first of October 1965. It organizes activities related to this mission in particular an International People’s Tribunal. Relatedly it aims to spread awareness of the crimes against humanity committed after this date and base on the results of this Tribunal.

The Foundation IPT 1965 is established in The Hague.
It is registered under the SBI-code: 94996 of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.
Fiscal number: 8538.29.081

[expand title=”Summary of activities” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]The aim of the Foundation IPT 1965 is to organize a People’s Tribunal to seek truth and justice on the ‘crimes against humanity’ committed in October 2015 in Indonesia. Victims from all over Indonesia will be brought to The Hague, international City of Justice, to give testimony. Indonesian exiles currently living in Europe will also provide testimonies. Other objectives are the stimulation of the process of reconciliation in the country, and pressuring for the accountability of Western nations who condoned and/or supported the mass killings and detentions. The final decision will be made in Geneva, where the sessions of the UN Human Rights Council are held. The results of the Tribunal will be widely disseminated, both in Indonesia and internationally. [/expand]


[expand title=”Background” rel=”plan-highlander” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]In July 2012, for the first time the Indonesian National Commis­sion on Human Rights (hereafter The Commission) launched a report on the systematic and widespread crimes against humanity in 1965-66. This landmark report is based on the results of an inves­ti­ga­tion conducted in four regions between 2008-2012 (Maumere, Ma­lu­­ku, South Sumatera and North Sumatera) and the collection of tes­­timonies of 349 witnesses and survivors. Although the report does not attempt to extrapolate numbers of victims nationwide, over­whelming evidence is given of “widespread and systematic” kill­ings, exterminations, enslavement and forced labor, forced evict­ion and banishments, arbitrary deprivation of freedom, torture, rape and sexual violence and enforced disappearances. These crimes are defined as crimes against humanity according to Law number 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts juncto article 7 of the Rome Statute.

The Commission acknowledges that the victims were targeted for their alleged ties with the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI, Par­tai Komunis Indonesia) and recognizes the Indonesian state as the mas­termind of the crimes, underlining that “these events are the re­sult of state policy to exterminate members and sympa­thi­zers of the PKI which was deemed to have conducted resistance against the state.”

The Commission recommended a follow-up criminal investigation by the Attorney General and the establishment of an ad hoc human rights court to try the alleged perpetrators as well as the establish­ment by the government of a non-judicial truth and reconciliation com­mis­sion as stipulated in the Law number 26/2000 on Human Rights Courts. However, the Commission’s report was rejected by the At­tor­ney General, with the argument that the findings of the Commission were not legally proper and insufficient. The govern­ment rejected the evidence presented as well. However, the UN Human Rights Council during the 2013 In­ternational Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) meeting at its Headquarters in Geneva made a recommendation to set up a joint investigation team to review and follow up on the Com­mission’s findings on the 1965 crimes against humanity and to settle down the disagreement on technicalities between the two institut­ions. But judging from the government’s reactions action to this recommendation so far, it is clear that the domestic mechanism to deal with these crimes against humanity is inadequate.

These crimes against humanity started a few days after a group of middle-ranking army officers, strong supporters of President Sukarno as well as a few PKI leaders, calling themselves the September 30th Move­ment, abducted and murdered six top generals of the army, in the night of 30 September 1965. They claimed to have taken Presi­dent Sukarno under its protection to prevent a military coup against him. General Suharto, who was informed of the impending action and not targeted, took control of the army and quick­ly aborted this putsch. He immediately blamed the whole PKI and its mass organizations for the killing of the generals. In October 10, he established the Command for Restoration of Secu­rity and Order (KOPKAMTIB), an extra-constitutional security and in­tel­ligence agency in charge of political prosecution and con­trol with extra-legal powers: to outlaw the PKI and hunt down and arrest its members and sympathizers. Following the establishment of KOPKAMTIB, a mass campaign of sexual slander was organized in which members of the progressive women’s organization Gerwani were accused of having seduced in a lurid dance and castrated the generals. This was followed by a campaign of terror against suspected communists and alleged as­sociates including socialist women, leftwing activists, pro­gressive artists and intellectuals, members of peasant groups and labour unions and members of the Chinese community. In addition, adhe­rents of popular culture and members of indigenous religions were harassed. In 1966 Suharto managed to oust President Sukarno and the following year he was inaugurated as the new President. He established a repressive military regime which lasted until 1998.

From late October 1965 onwards the army trained and armed militia units and recruited religious groups, student organizations and right wing trade unions to implement the massacres. Hundreds of thou­sands of innocent people were murdered, raped and imprisoned, many of whom disappeared. Their assets were seized and their pension and other rights suspended. Family members were stigmatized and banned from government employment and access to state universities. Many thousands of others were fired and denied their pensions as supporters of Sukarno.

Between October 1965 and March 1966, it is reliably estimated that between 500,000 and one million people were killed and more than 1.7 million people were imprisoned wi­th­out trial. The campaign of terror did not stop then, though it slowed down. Moreover, the so called “New Order” of President Suharto revoked the passports of hundreds of students and PKI sympathizers who happened to be abroad and who refused to support this government. For years many of them were stateless and suffered from uncertainty about their status before they finally got asylum from the Ne­ther­lands and other European countries.

As described by a 1978 CIA report, the 1965 killings in Indo­nesia can be classified as “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century.” However, this crime against humanity is hardly known internationally, whereas the mass murders in Rwanda, Yugo­slavia and Cambodia have received wide international attention. For more than three decades, Suharto’s “New Order” government ruled the country with authoritarian power silencing all voices which campaigned for human rights. It continued its political manipulation through an intensive propaganda campaign in order to induce the belief that Gerwani had committed atrocities against the generals including sexual torture and that the PKI was behind the September 30th Movement. This in spite of scholarly evidence that the party as a whole nor its mass organizations had been in­volv­ed in the events.
The army and its allied groups committed these crimes against humanity at the height of the Cold War. Western countries, particularly the US, Great Britain and Australia were relieved that the leader of an important Asian country who in their eyes was leaning towards the left was removed from power. Though they were aware that a horrible tragedy was taking place in Indonesia they kept silent and even actively, though secretly, supported the army. The support provided consisted of money, training and army equipment, including small arms.

The mass killings and other forms of atrocities that followed, were one of the darkest periods in the history of the modern world. Only when the film The Act of the Killing (TAoK) by Joshua Oppenheimer was launched in 2012 and screenings took place in several coun­t­ries, were the eyes of the international community opened about these mass killings. In Indonesia, TAoK could only be screened secretly; while the report from Tempo magazine (September 2012) on the mass killings helped raise a new awareness in the count­ry about this massacre.

Before the National Human Rights Commission investigated and challenged the central ele­ment of the anti PKI myth, several civil society or­gan­izations in Indonesia have investigated the crimes and challenged the official version of national history imposed by Suharto. [/expand]


[expand title=”Aims of the Foundation IPT 1965.” rel=”plan-highlander” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]The Foundation IPT 1965 under which auspices the International People’s Tribunal on Crimes Against Humanity 1965 will be established has three aims:

  • the seeking of truth and justice and thus contributing to the strengthening of Indonesia as a country in which human rights are respected;
  • the stimulation of efforts to achieve reconciliation at the community level;
  • the establishment of accountability of Western countries for their condoning of and complicity in the crimes committed against humanity.

The experiences of other International People’s Tribunals are that they contribute to creating a climate of respect for human rights and to the healing process of the victims. Since the 1960s there have been at least eighty ‘peoples’ tribunals’, ‘citizens’ tribunals’ or similar commissions of inquiry established outside formal State and international structures. These have addressed alleged violations of international law, human rights and moral and ethical standards in areas ranging from the conduct of the Vietnam war, through violence against women, to environmental degradation, the impact of debt, and the rights of workers. These include the Bertrand Russell Tribunal in 1967 to examine the culpability of the United States and its allies in the war in Viet Nam. Other well known Tribunals are the Tokyo Women’s Tribunal on the Japanese military ‘comfort women’ systems held in 2000 and the Asia-Pacific Regional Hearing on gender-related violence in conflict held in Phnom Penh in 2012. These Tribunals have served as archives of human rights violations, have increased the democratisation of international, regional and local standards of human rights legislation and have increased international attention to and accountability for violations.[/expand]


[expand title=”Activities during the period of the present policy plan:” rel=”plan-highlander” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]

  • To prepare and organise the sessions of the Tribunal IPT both in The Hague and in Geneva.
  • To increase international recognition of the crimes against humanity committed in and after 1965 by the State of Indonesia, possibly in the form of a UN Resolution;
  • To contribute to the healing process of the victims/survivors and their families of the crimes against humanity in Indonesia in and after 1965;
  • To compile evidence about the crimes against humanity in Indonesia in and after 1965 according to standards of national and international law;
  • To contribute to the creation of a political climate in Indo­nesia where human rights are recognized and honoured; in particular to follow up on the recommendations of the Commission re­port;
  • To prevent the re-occurrence of violence against victims of the crimes against humanity in and after 1965 and the persecution of perpetrators of such violence;
  • To stimulate sustained international attention to the crimes against humanity committed by the state of Indonesia in and after 1965 and the continued inaction of that state to bring the per­pe­tra­tors to justice, for instance by inviting a special rapporteur on past human rights violations in Indonesia.



[expand title=”Organization of the Tribunal” rel=”plan-highlander” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]This People’s Tribunal is brought into existence by the Foundation IPT 1965 which includes a secretariat in The Hague and in Jakarta and is assisted by Advisory and Support Committees. The organizing committee consists of:

Stichting IPT 1965

        : Chair Saskia Wieringa, treasurer Sri Tunruang, member Andreas Sungkono

General coordinator

        : Nursyahbani Katjasungkana

The secretariat in The Hague

        consists of secretariat, a webmaster and other staff. The coordinator and secretariat are responsible for the coordination of the working groups on Me­dia and Communication, Re­search and Data Collection. The secretariat maintains the links with the Country Co­or­di­nators, the Support and Advisory Committees.

The secretariat in Indonesia

      consists of Yasmin Purba and other staff. The secretariat in Jakarta coordinates the various organizations of victims in preparation for the Tribunal, helps prepare the testimonies and supports the lobbying activities of the general coordinator.



[expand title=”Time and place: ” rel=”plan-highlander” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]The Tribunal will be held in October 2015 in The Hague. The Hague is chosen because this city is well known as a symbol for inter­national justice and peace. The United Nations International Court of Justice is located there, in the Peace Palace, as well as the International Criminal Court. Several important spe­cial courts were held there or had their secretariat in the city, such as the Yugoslav Tribunal. The Tokyo Tribunal (Women’s Inter­national War Crimes Tribunal on Japan Military Sexual Slavery) held its judgment session in The Hague (2001).[/expand]


[expand title=”Project Activities” rel=”plan-highlander” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]
[expandsub1 title=”Year 1 September 2014 – September 2015”]

  • Prepare the launching of the IPT 65, both in Jakarta and The Netherlands, on October 1 2014;
  • Set up and maintain the website and start lobbying with other social media;
  • Publish campaign materials, such as booklets, leaflets, in English and Indonesian;
  • Organize pre-IPT meetings both in The Netherlands (3) and elsewhere in Europe (3);
  • Organize 5 meetings with victims all over Indonesia;
  • Conduct lobbying campaigns with politicians, policy makers and experts, both in Indonesia, and in Europe;
  • Coordinate the research teams and implement the various research projects in preparation of the IPT 1965;
  • Prepare the IPT 1965, October 2015 in The Hague;
  • Prepare a documentary film on the process;
  • Prepare the IPT 1965 indictment : A series of drafting meetings will be conducted in Jakarta and the final draft will be discussed in the Hague by inviting experts such as Patricia Viseur Seller and/or Leyla Nadia Sadat (both are special advisers to the ICC prosecutor), Elizabeth Zegveld, T.Mulya Lubis, and other International Crimes Against Humanity Experts.

[expandsub1 title=”Year 2 September 2015 – September 2016″]

  • Hold the IPT 1965, in October 2015;
  • Organize the meeting in Geneva, where the verdict will be read;
  • Intensify the lobbying and media campaigns, to spread the results of the IPT 1965;
  • Intensify lobbying at the UN level, working towards a resolution or other instrument;
  • Hold meetings in Indonesia and in Europe to discuss the results of the IPT 1965
  • Intensify lobbying in Indonesia and internationally, aiming at reconciliation and compensation;
  • Publish the findings, and discuss them in an international seminar and on as many other occasion, and using all traditional and social media
  • Finalize the documentary film.



[expand title=”Indicators of success” rel=”plan-highlander” startwrap=”” endwrap=”“]
[expandsub1 title=”1. At the community level”]
The process of the IPT 1965 has contributed to the creation of atmosphere in which victims will feel more free to speak out about their experiences. In this way the process of reconciliation at the community level will be speeded up.
Indicator: number of pre- and post IPT 1965 meetings held
[expandsub1 title=”2. At the national level”]
The process of the IPT 1965 has led to an awareness that under the auspices of the Indonesian state gross violations of human rights have taken place in Indonesia as a result of which millions of innocent human beings suffered greatly or were killed. Media, and school curricula reflect this insight. Mechanism to deal with human rights in Indonesia will be strengthened.
Indicator: number of seminars devoted to this topic, and publications in traditional and new media.
[expandsub1 title=”3. At the international level”]
The IPT 1965 project has contributed to a greater international awareness of this tragedy, one of the worst crimes against humanity after World War II. Awareness has spread that Western powers were aware of the crimes committed and collaborated with the army and other groups in Indonesian society.
Indicator: Number of articles or other publications in the traditional and new media.

All board members are unremunerated.[/expand]

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