Saturday, May 28th, 2011
COMEMMORATING THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF "AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL"
To-day is an important day to be remembered BY ALL HUMANRIGHTS ACTIVISTS.
Fifty years ago, 0n May 28th, 1961, an important worldwide humanrights
movement, started, THE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL.
To comemmorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of AMNESTY
INTERNATIONAL, an appeal to the AI, --- not to forget the victims of the 1965 genocide in Indonesia, -- is republished below:
* * *
Kolom* *IBRAHIM* *ISA*
Friday, 11 June 2010
Open Letter to the Annual General Meeting of Members of *Amnesty*
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL ! NEVER FORGET
THE 1965-66-67 MASS KILLINGS IN INDONESIA
Tomorrow, Saturday 12th, 2010, *Amnesty* *International*, Holland, will
convene its annual general meeting of members, in Vergadercentrum
Regards De Eenhoorn, Amersfoort. Human Rights activists all over the
country welcome and support the acitivities of *Amnesty* Interntional
Holland, in general. *Amnesty* *International* Holland, was and continue to
be one of the most active branch of *Amnesty* *International* worldwide.
Sinds its establishment *Amnesty* *International* Holland, take active part
in *international* campaigns for a world in which everyone enjoy all
rights as stipulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
other *international* human rights documents. Including activities for
Human Rights in Indonesia. This endeavours is realized through
investigation/research and by organizing activities directed against and
the ending of serious volations of the rights of physical and mental
inviolability, the right of freedom of consience and freedom of expression.
* * *
However, for some time *Amnesty* *International* seems to 'forget' the
sufferings and plight of victims of human rights violations, perpetrated
under the direction of the Indonesia military clique under General Suharto.
That is the reason for my open letter, February 18, 2006, addressed to
the *Amnesty* *International* in London, a.o
*"To date, the *international* community has failed to address the massacre
of around 1 million law-abiding citizens of Indonesia, orchestrated by
General Suharto during his rise to power in 1965-1966.*
Whereas the victims of the Bali bombings of 2002, mostly
non-Indonesians, found some measure of justice within months, more than
four decades later the survivors of this massive crime against humanity
as yet pass unrecognised.
Two years ago, March 27, 2004, I wrote an open letter to the Secretary
General of the UNO, Mr Kofi Annan. Quoting his selfcriticism on the
occasion of the memorial conference at the UN, March 26, 2004,
comemmorating the tenth anniv. of the Rwanda Genocide, that "The
*International* Community is guilty of sins of omission" , I asked his
attention to the present situation of i m p u n i t y in Indonesia.
Sadly enough I did not receive even an answer to my letter.
Now, I would like to draw the attention of the Internatinal
Secretariat to the following:
In 1965-1966 , anyone alleged to have the most tenuous links to the
Communist Party of Indonesia was killed, at heir houses, in the streets,
or at mass grave sites, such as the Wonosobo site, exhumed in November
2000. Some were hit on the head and thrown vertical caves, as was done
at the Blitar site, uncovered in August 2002. Many of the over 200.000
political prisoners were tortured, worked or starved to death; those who
survived did so by enduring years, often decades, of the most inhuman
Upon release they, like other alleged communists who survived the
killings and avoided the jails, were systematically discriminated
against and ostracised. The regulations introduced to deal with these
persons remain in force even today, despite the fall of the Suharto
regime, and include restrictions on the right to marry freely, work,
travel and practice religion. To this day, nobody accused of being
connected with communism is allowed to participate in elections or hold
certain public or professional positions in society, such as practicing
medicine, working in government departments or undertake military service.
But these systematic remnants of the massacre are by no means its most
malevolent legacy. Far more insidious is the violent opportunism and
mean vengeful spirit that persist to this day. This was seen in the last
days of the Suharto dictatorship, with the so-called
'May Riots' of 1998, during which the military encouraged civilians to
rape and kill
ethnic Chinese Indonesians, destroy or loot their property. An es
timated 1190 were killed in Jakarta and 168 women gang-raped. In
September 1999 the military again incited murder, this time by civilian
militias in East Timor, after a successful referendum for independence.
One to two thousands person were again killed.
In October 1999, the military engineered a religious war in the Maluku
islands, causing an estimated 6000 deaths and displacing 500.000 person.
In February 2001, an estimated 500 Madurese settlers were massacred in
Sampit, Central Kalimantan.
None of these crimes have been properly investigated, perpetrators
subjected to fair and independent trials, or victims conpensated.
I solemnly request the *International* Secretariat of the *Amnesty*
*International* to do something in order to put pressure to bear upon the
Indonesian authorities, so as to:
Conduct a full, idependent and official ivestigation into the massacre
Ensure that major criminals are not given impunity and that the safety
of witnesses is assured through a protection programme,
Immediately remove all discriminatory regulations against alleged former
communists and communist sympathisers,
Protect the human rights defenders and activitists collecting evidence
and advocating on behalf of the 1965-1966 massacre, such as the PAKORBA,
LPKP, LPKROB, YPKP and the Forum of Coordinating Advocacy and
* * *
While *Amnesty* *International* in London and in the Netherlands have
recently done no meaningful actions
to address the Human Rights situation in Indonesia, Indonesian Human
Rights activists were
encouraged by the stand take by *Amnesty* *International* USA, in its open
letter to President Barack Obama, on the eve of
Obama's state visit to Indonesia.
In the open letter, *Amnesty* *International* USA pointed out a.o :
"Mr. President, *Amnesty* *International* urges
you to take this opportunity to ensure that steps are taken to improve
human rights in Indonesia. While in Indonesia, we strongly urge you to
speak publicly and meet with human rights defenders and families of
victims, especially those civilians who were killed during the 1965
political turmoil. Thank you.
* * *
I am writing this open letter to the General Meeting of Members of
Holland, with the hope that the meeting will pay due attention to the
problems mentioned above.
Amsterdam, 11 June, 20101.
<*Ibrahim* *Isa* is Secetary of Stchting Wertheim in Amsterdam.