JAKARTA, Indonesia—The final verdict of the International People’s Tribunal (IPT) 1965 states that Indonesia must be held account for ten gross human rights violations that happened in 1965/1966. Including, among others, genocide against members, followers and sympathisers of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and supporters of President Soekarno and progressive members of Indonesian National Party (PNI).

“The State of Indonesia is responsible for and guilty of crimes against humanity consequent upon the commission and perpetration, particularly by the military of that state through its chain of command, of the inhumane acts..,” IPT 1965 Chief Justice Zak Yacoob stated in the final report for the judges, Wednesday 20 July.

The crimes against humanity, he stated, was carried out against Indonesian civilian population, were furthermore systematic and widespread.

Yacoob continued to read the 10 gross human rights violations, including mass killing, destruction, imprisonment, slavery, torture, forced disappearance, sexual violence, banishment, false propaganda, international complicity and genocide.

According to the IPT 65 Chief Justice, the State of Indonesia, especially the Indonesian military, is responsible and guilty for crimes against humanity for commissioning and carrying out through its chain of command such inhumane acts.

“All these acts were an integral part of a broad widespread systematic attack against the Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI — Communist Party of Indonesia), its affiliate organisations, its leaders, members and supporters and their families (as well as those alleged to have been sympathetic to its aims),”Yacoob said. President Soekarno’s loyalists and progressive members of the National Party of Indonesia (PNI) were also targeted in the systematic attack.

The attack against PKI sympathisers and Soekarno supporters started with false propaganda.

Yacoob continued, Indonesia failed to prevent the inhumane acts and/or to punish perpetrators and accomplices.
“The State of Indonesia also failed to prevent the perpetration of these inhumane acts or to punish those responsible for their commission. To the extent that some crimes were committed independently of the authorities, by so-called “spontaneous” local action, this did not absolve the State from the obligation to prevent their occurrence and to punish those responsible,” he said.

Suharto’s involvement

The final report also explains in detail the central role of general Suharto during the massacre in 1965 and thereafter.

The report states that on 2nd October 1965, General Suharto immediately took de facto control over the capital and the armed forces.

A new Operations Command for the Restoration of Security and Order (Kopkamtib_ was formed on 10 October to implement the liquidation of the PKI and alleged sympathisers.

On 1 November General Suharto was appointed as the Chief Commander of the Kopkamtib. Consequently, this command operated under the direct orders of General Suharto. General Suharto and his associates immediately blamed the PKI as the mastermind of the G30S (September 30th Movement). A military propaganda campaign distributed pictures of the dead generals with claims that Communists, particularly Communist women, had tortured, gouged their eyes and mutilated their genitals before death.

As a result, violence and demonstrations by the army and various youth groups, equipped and/or supported by the military and the government, targeting suspected Communists broke out soon in Aceh, Central and East Java, before spreading all over Indonesia. Civilians were killed, raped, tortured, enslaved or subjected to other crimes against humanity in their own homes or in public places.

On 21 December, 1965, General Suharto issued an order (Kep-1/KOPKAM/12/19650) for military leaders around Indonesia to compile lists of members of PKI and PKI-affiliated organisations in their respective areas. Civilians whose names were included in these lists became the targets for gross human rights violations including murder, torture and other crimes, as has been reported by the Indonesian National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM, 2012).


Yacoob also stated that crimes against humanity against alleged leaders of the PKI and those alleged to be its members or sympathisers, as well as Sukarno loyalists and progressive members of PNI, trade unionists and teachers and specifically people of ethnic Chinese or mixed descent can be categorised as genocide.

Because these acts were committed against specific groups, with a specific intent to destroy that group in whole or in part. These include the commission of a number of the acts prescribed by the 1948 Genocide Convention.

The Judges believe that all this was carried out for the political intent to destroy the PKI, and those who were accused as members or sympathisers and more broadly against Sukarno loyalist, trade unionists and teachers, including minority ethnic Chinese groups.

The Prosecution has described how the Indonesian people, consciously or not, have been shaped by terror and extermination.

The facts brought before the Tribunal by the Prosecution, according to the Judges, include acts that fall within those enumerated in the 1948 Genocide Convention.

The Government should apologize

At the end of the concluding statement, Yacoob read recommendations of IPT 65 Judges, which they adressed to the Indonesian Government:

  1. Apologize to all victims, survivors and their families for the commission by the State of all the crimes against humanity and other crimes committed in Indonesia in relation to the 1965 events;
  2. Investigate and prosecute all crimes against humanity;
  3. Ensure appropriate compensation and reparation to victims and survivors.

Aside from the government, the Judges urge all relevant authorities to demand the government to act. Specifically, that the Attorney General should act on the basis of Komnas HAM 2012 report to conduct investigations into what are deemed to have been grave violations of human rights.

IPT Judges also demand the government to rehabilitate the victims and remove any still outstanding persecution by the authorities or restrictions on their full enjoyment of all human rights guaranteed under international and Indonesian law.