Inauguration Speech of 7th  Truth Foundation Award of South Korea in Seoul June 26, 2017


Dear the Board of Truth Foundation, Victims of Human Rights Violations after the Korean War, Victims of   persecution during  Park Chung-hee/ Chun Doo-hwan Military Dictatorship Regime, Delegates of Victims, Activists, Human Rights Defenders from various countries in Asia and representatives of the International Agency,  Representatives of State/Governmental  Institutions, also Victims of Human Rights Violations Crimes Against Humanity  the Victims of Genocide of the 1965/66 in Indonesia and Victims of Human Rights Violations everywhere in the World.

On behalf of the Victims of the Tragedy of 1965/66 Massacre (Tragedy –abbrv) and myself  as the  Chairperson  of YPKP 65 (Indonesian Institute for the Study of 1965/66 Massacre) It is a great honor for me to have most prestigious  opportunity to express our deep gratefulness  to the Truth Foundation for selecting me  and the  Institution of YPKP 65  as the receiver  of the 7th Human Rights Award by The Truth Foundation of South Korea.

This award is not merely  for myself but – actually the most worthy – is  to all Victims of Tragedy 1965  which is until to this moment  still   endured  of   injustice, intolerance, marginalised and unhumane. The  victims of  the tragedy of 1965/66 scattered throughout Indonesia from Aceh western of Indonesia to Papua in the eastern of Indonesia. In fact, Victims of the tragedy  are also scattered abroad in Europe, the Netherlands, France, England, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, Cuba, China etc –  we call it the Exile victims, due to their political choice they refused to support dictatorship of Suharto, then they became stateless citizen.

This Award  is also not only for YPKP 65 alone  but also for all Victims organizations of the tragedy that  concern to the advocation of the victims. They protect us, they support us, they give solidarity to us especially when YPKP 65 was under  military persecution, terrorize  and intimidation by using the hand of  intolerant groups, anti-democratic and human rights organizations.

Special thanks to the late political detainees:  Madam Sulami activist of Indonesian Women Movement, Mr. Pramoedya Ananta Toer novelist, Mr. Hasan Raid a former politician, Mr. Suharno activist of Indonesian Student Movement, Mr. Kusalah Soebagyo Toer translator and writer, Madame  Sumini activist of  Indonsian Women Movement, etc., as the Founder of YPKP 65 who  enable me to stand here.

Also special thanks to Madam Nadiani chairwoman of YPKP 65 branch of Bukittinggi West Sumatra, Mr. Supardi from Pati, Sudarno from Pekalongan, Mr. Edi Sugiyanto from Cirebon, Madam Suwarti  from Cilacap, Mr. Badri from Kulon Progo Yogyakarta, Mr. Supangat from Boyolali, Mr. Budiono from Pacitan, Mr. Handoko from Surabaya, Mr. Asep Hidayat from Sukabumi, Mas Aris Panji from Kebumen Central Java and all Comrades that I can not mention one by one because of their  tireless work and great spirit of breaking through the valley, step up and down the hill, walk  into and come out  the forest, breaking through bushes in  remote areas to search and record the Victims and identify mass graves scattered in various places. Those the volunteers who work hard, do not bother either  the threats or  terrorize of military.

From my humble opinion, for  them and the victims that are still alive and have  passed away as martyr of  mankind  this award should be  presented.


Value of the Award

Of course, the Award  will stimulate  the spirit of  the victims in Indonesia  to reveal and open up the truth. We then feel confidient that our work and struggle got sympathy and solidarity from victims of Human Rights especially from  South Korea. Almost 52 years the military have  hidden the true history, they kept fake one.

The Award also as a mean of recognition from International communities especially from South Korea.

We may study the experiences of South Korean people  how to resolve  the Human Rights violation either through yudicial or non yudicial process. We may also share what we have done – exhumation and memorialisation- and the bitter experience when we are raid by military or intolerant groups.

When I speech in front of you today I can not hide my pride of  happiness  because you acknowledge my long and tireless struggle, I remember the period of detention without knowing when I will be released. Nine years is a long time. My productive time just faded away in the prison. I have lost the opportunity to study at school but I have to work hard in the concentration camp, force labour without paid and  enough food. I have to eat rats, mice, snails, snakes,  etc.. This condition led to starvation, most of my friends died of hunger.

When I was released in 1979 due to International pressure, my  friends and I are still acted as prisoners, got discrimination, no working access, not allowed to apply to be governmental  officers, teachers, armed forces, even we are not allowed to marry with military families. We live as if in the large barbed cell  of society.


Persecution, repression is always happened to the victims.

YPKP 65  was establisbed  as a mean of  deeply consolation for the victims of the tragedy who for a long time suffered in the prison and have been fighting during their life.

Through YPKP 65 the Victims may get accesses to get their rights of medical/psycholocical care of the government based on the constitution Number 13/ year 2006 and Number 31/year 2014.

YPKP 65 also lead to investigate and collecting data of the victims, the records of disappearances, detention, extra judicial killings, rapes, force labour, records on tortures, camp concentration, mass-graves, testimony of the victims. It would be very important as the heritage of the nation  for young generation to let them know the true history.

Our demand is the Victims of the tragedy should be rehabilited as they are  innocent. Their rights such as truth, reparation, rehabilitation, compensation and a guarantee of no reoccurrence  in the future should be clearly stated by the government.

The perpetrators should be punished.


Call for Solidarity

On this very important occasion on behalf of the institution of YPKP 65 and myself  I herewith call for your solidarity,  the Truth Foundation of South Korea and to all Civic Society Organisation in South Korea and others to hold  hand by hand with YPKP 65 to echo and boost the voice of the Victims of the tragedy 1965/66 in Indonesia.

In particular, I invite you to  cooperate in the  research, data collection with the ultimate goal of Human  Rights enforcement, striving for the truth. In  long-term aim – with the approval of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and  the Commission on Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia as well  the Attorney General –  we conduct exhumations of mass graves  to obtain evidence of  material truth and to respect Human Rights.

UN Human Rights Council should make an independent  investigation on the Indonesian national trauma of the 1965-66 massacres, crimes against humanity and Genocide  that  has never been resolved. An estimated 500,000 – 3 million people were killed, and hundreds of thousands more were detained without trial. Until today, no justice has been done to the victims, they and their families still live under a stigma perpetuated by those in the corridors of power. (Refer to Recommendation of Indonesian Commission of Human Rights in 2012 and Final Report of the International People’s Tribunal in The Hague 2016).

Last but not the least I appreciate the Award given to me and YPKP 65.  You, the Truth Foundation has raised me up from the burden I got. This award will be a symbol of friendship among the Victims of Human Right Violation in Indonesia and South Korea, it is a real solidarity of the torture victims and the people of both countries  who are struggling to uphold Democracy and Human Rights.

How can a nation walk into its future when dark spots of its history remain hidden behind a smoke screen?

Bone and body  may be buried  but Truth may not perished

Sky may ruin into pieces  but truth should be revealed.

We Love Peace but We Love Justice More


Thank You.


Bedjo Untung

Chairman of YPKP 65