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The Jakarta Post
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Victims demand Komnas HAM renew probe into 1965 communist purge

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Tue, October 24, 2017 | 07:52 pm
Victims demand Komnas HAM renew probe into 1965 communist purge Activist Bedjo Untung and his colleagues voice their demand to reopen the investigation into the 1965 communist purge using the recently released declassified United States files on the purge on Tuesday. (Tempo/Fajar Pebrianto)

Survivors and families of victims of the 1965 communist purge have urged the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to use the recently released declassified United States files on the purge to renew a long-stalled investigation into the mass killings.

Bejo Untung of the 1965 Murder Victim's Research Foundation (YPKP 65) said that the US files had further revealed that the Indonesian Army had, at that time, orchestrated the mass killings of alleged sympathizers of the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

On Tuesday, Bedjo, along with five colleagues, came to Komnas HAM to voice their demands, urging the government-sanctioned rights body to "request the documents [from the US embassy] and use them as evidence” to renew its investigation into the tragedy.

"We also hope Komnas HAM ensures that it will be followed up by the Attorney General's Office [AGO]," Bedjo said. "We have suffered from getting stigmatized for 52 years. We only demand for our rehabilitation and the revelation of truth.”

Komnas HAM concluded in 2012 an investigation into the purge and has submitted their findings--that it constituted a gross rights violation--to the AGO and recommended that military officials involved in the purge be brought to trial. Yet, the AGO returned the documents to Komnas HAM after the prosecutors found insufficient evidence to build a case.

Komnas HAM commissioner M. Nurkhoiron said it had yet to decide whether to use the declassified US files to complement its investigation, which was concluded years before the release. (ipa)

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