Source : Jakarta Post, July 20 2016

The government has reaffirmed its stance of no apology to the victims and survivors of the 1965 communist purge or their families as recommended by the International People’s Tribunal for the 1965 crimes against humanity (IPT 1965).

Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said on Wednesday that Indonesia had its own legal system and no external party could dictate the way this nation solved its problems.

“Our country is a great nation. We acknowledge and we will resolve this problem [the 1965 tragedy] in our way and through universal values,” Luhut told reporters at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday.

Therefore, he further said, the government would not bow to the IPT 1965’s recommendations.

As reported earlier, the tribunal’s panel of judges declared that Indonesian authorities had committed crimes against humanity following the murder of several generals during a failed coup attempt blamed on the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) in October 1965.

It is stated in the tribunal’s conclusion that the Indonesian government was responsible for and guilty of crimes against humanity through its chain of command in a string of inhumane acts. They comprised the brutal murder of an unknown number of people (generally assumed to be around 400,000 – 500,000), the imprisonment under inhumane conditions of an unknown number of people (generally assumed to be around 600,000), enslavement, for instance in labor camps on Buru Island, torture, enforced disappearance, as well as sexual violence.

The panel of judges also declared that the Indonesian government was responsible for the thousands of people who were deprived of their citizenship. This may well be considered a crime against humanity.

Therefore, the panel of judges recommended that the Indonesian government apologize to the victims, survivors and their families, as well as investigate the crimes against humanity and comply with the calls of the National Commission on Violence against Women (Komnas Perempuan) and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) in their reports, so that “the truth will be found and impunity for these crimes against humanity will be ended”. (ebf)