Thursday, July 21, 2016

US, UK, Australia complicit in Indonesia's 1965 mass killings


Powerhouse countries like the US, the UK and Australia were directly involved with the Indonesian government in the 1965 communist purge, the International People's Tribunal on the 1965 Crimes Against Humanity said in its final report released on Wednesday.

"The United States of America, the United Kingdom and Australia were all complicit to different degrees in the commission of these crimes against humanity," said presiding judge Zak Yakoob on Wednesday in a video presentation of the final report from the tribunal, which was held last year in The Hague from Nov. 10 to 13. 

The US had supplied lists of names of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) officials to the Indonesian Military despite an existing "strong presumption that these would facilitate the arrest and/or the execution of those that were named", Yakoob said as evidence in justifying the charge of complicity.

Meanwhile, the UK and Australia conducted a "sustained campaign repeating false propaganda from the Indonesian Army", he added.

The UK and Australian governments had continued with the policy even after it had become abundantly clear that killings and other crimes against humanity were taking place on a mass and indiscriminate basis.

"The governments of the countries referred to above were fully aware of what was taking place in Indonesia through their diplomatic reports, from contacts in the field and accounts in the Western media," said the judge in reference to all three countries involved.

By the beginning of 1966, Yakoob said, the number of killings that were reliably reported to Washington, London and Canberra ranged from a minimum of 100,000 to four times that count.

IPT 1965 coordinator Nursyahbani Katjasungkana said the verdict is not legally binding since it is not a criminal court. However, it serves as a political action aimed at making the Indonesian government accountable for the crimes against humanity believed to have left at least 500,000 people dead.

By Liza Yosephine The Jakarta Post

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