Indonesia President Joko Widodo Picture

Your Excellency President Joko Widodo,

Welcome to Europe.

While you are touring this continent, a number of your ministers and senior government officials in Jakarta are organizing a symposium and preparing a concept towards a solution for the 1965 case. We sincerely welcome this effort. In connection with this, allow us to convey the following points below.

We deeply regret the statement made by Coordinating Minister for Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Panjaitan, who well ahead of time (on March 15, 2016) stated that the government:

1) does not intend to apologize to the victims, and

2) bars the possibility of a legal solution (pro justitia).

As Your Excellency may already know, we – Indonesian and international civil activists – held an International People’s Tribunal (IPT) in The Hague on November 10 to 14, 2015. This Tribunal was held in order to collect testimonies and strong evidence from victims as well as expert witnesses regarding the case of the gross human rights crimes of 1965 and afterwards. The Tribunal was chaired by international legal and academic professionals who are experts in their respective fields. Also present were members of the Indonesian Human Rights Commission Komnas HAM and the Indonesian Women’s Rights Commission Komnas Perempuan, both of whom confirmed the information put forward by the victims and expert witnesses, in accordance to the report both Commissions issued four years ago.

In their closing statement, the panel of judges for the International People’s Tribunal 1965 concluded that the Republic of Indonesia is responsible for a crime against humanity, because it created an organized chain of command through its state institutions, from the highest echelons right down to the lowest ones that resulted in this crime against humanity. The material that was handed over the panel of judges will also be used as evidence for other serious crimes which had been committed.

Based on the results of the Tribunal, and the temporary decision of the panel of judges, we would like to underline the following principals:

  1. The goal of reconciliation can only be achieved if the truth is revealed through the judicial path, as a follow-­‐up on Komnas HAM’s report of 2012.
  2. The government should facilitate and encourage reconciliation both on the national and regional levels. It could, for example, facilitate re-­‐burials, memorials and reconciliation on grass-­‐root levels.
  3. Based on chapter 14 of the Indonesian Constitution UUD 1945, the President is required to conduct rehabilitation, including rehabilitating President Soekarno’s name and apologizing to the victims of the 1965 events in particular and the people of Indonesia in general. On a national level, the people of Indonesia were not given the opportunity to know the truth about their own history. The fact that masses of

people fell victim during the 1965 events is not only a problem for the Indonesian people, but for the international community as well.

  1. The government should conduct a national inquiry based on documents and testimonies gathered and researched by Komnas HAM, Komnas Perempuan, non-­‐ governmental organizations and academic institutions in Indonesia and abroad, and expert testimonies heard during the Tribunal in The Hague last November. The inquiry should focus on justice, truth and protection for witnesses and victims.
  2. The government is responsible for rectifying history by re-­‐writing it according to the facts, and – most importantly – changing the educational material both formally and informally. By law, the government is also responsible to remove all legislation, policies and practices which are discriminatory towards victims and their families.

We believe that even if there are problems which cannot be overcome, keeping in mind that more than five decades have passed, an agreement should be sought by, for example, forming a Presidential Committee for Truth and Victims’ Rehabilitation through a Presidential Decree.

We present this statement to you, Mr. President, in the hope that it will catch your attention, given the urgency for a just and civilized solution of this problem for the people of Indonesia.

Thank you very much for your attention. The Haque, April 2016


On behalf of IPT 1965

Nursyahbani Katjasungkana Sungkono

IPT 1965 Coordinator IPT 1965 Foundation