Half a century ago in Indonesia, following the events of October 1 1965, 500,000 to one million people accused of being members or supporters of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) were murdered, and many hundreds of thousands of people were detained without trial, perished or exiled. The impunity surrounding these mass killings has been encircled in social and political amnesia. There has been no official attempt to find out who was behind the killings, who the victims were exactly, and where they are buried.
To address this culture of impunity and to initiate activities which would break down the vicious cycle of denial, distortion, taboo and secrecy, the Stichting of the International People’s Tribunal was established in March 2014. Together with a broad network based in Indonesia and other countries, the Foundation will organise an International People’s Tribunal (IPT), by which demands will be made to the Indonesian state to investigate the extent of the crimes of humanity committed by the army and the vigilante groups it controlled.
The Tribunal will be held on 10 – 13 November 2015 in The Hague.
The Tribunal’s mission is to examine the evidence for these crimes against humanity, develop an accurate historical and scientific record and apply principles of International Law to the collected evidence. Testimonies will be given by a selected number of victims and survivors both from Indonesia and political exiles currently living elsewhere.
A range of activities both in Indonesia and the Netherlands have been held prior to the Tribunal with the hope that it will help open up a space for public debate on the history and the culture of persistent violence in post-colonial Indonesia. These events have brought together various organisations, international lawyers, activists and researchers working both in Indonesia and in various other countries under the coordination of Mrs. Nursyahbani Katjasungkana (in Indonesia) and Prof. Dr. Saskia E. Wieringa (in the Netherlands)
Since the IPT is not a criminal court, it does not have the mandate to ensure justice and compensation for the victims. But it will endeavour to push the state to take its responsibility towards the victims and their families, and towards the Indonesian society as a whole. It can help break the culture of violence and create an Indonesia in which social and gender justice and equality become important values, sustained by religious and socially progressive groups alike.
For further information go to the IPT website www.1965tribunal.org or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org