Indonesia president says regrets past rights abuses in country

Indonesia president says regrets past rights abuses in country

Joko Widodo

Jokowi expressed regret within the mass human legal rights violations, but some activist groups say declaration is not enough

Agence France-Presse

January 10, 2023

Indonesia president says regrets past rights abuses in country Indonesia president says regrets past rights abuses in country
Indonesian Leader Joko Widodo delivering his speech at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Myannmar crisis talks in Jakarta in Apr. Photo: AFP

Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Wed expressed regret over mass human rights violations committed within the country’s past, which includes a violent anti-communist purge in the 1960s  and the disappearance associated with student protesters in the late 1990s.

More than half several leftists were massacred across the Southeast Oriental nation in the mid-1960s, a bloody vision that ushered in the long rule associated with dictator Suharto, whose fervent anti-communist position remains decades upon.

The killings led to the particular collapse of the now-banned Indonesian Communist Celebration (PKI), once among the biggest in the world behind those of China and the Soviet Union.

“With a definite mind and a sincere heart, I since the leader of this nation, admit that gross human rights infractions have happened in several incidents and I regret they happened quite definitely, ” Widodo stated in a speech in the state palace within the capital Jakarta.

“I possess sympathy and empathy for the victims and their families. ”

He mentioned the government was aiming to “rehabilitate” the victims’ rights “without killing the judicial resolution”, without specifying exactly how it would do that.

The chief executive also mentioned the particular murder and hold of dozens of college student protesters and activists during mass street rallies in 1998 that brought down the three-decade dictatorship of Suharto.

The Indonesian leader went on to list 10 other infractions that took place involving the 1960s and the earlier 2000s before he rose to energy, based on the findings of a commission he ordered to investigate the violations last year.

He acknowledged rights abuses in the restive easternmost province associated with Papua, including the 2003 army and police operation that will left dozens of civilians dead and where officers were charged of murder, pain and abduction.

Papua has been the scene of the decades-old rebel insurgency aimed at gaining independence from Indonesia right after it took power over the former Dutch nest in the 1960s.

Human legal rights groups said Widodo’s expression of feel dissapointed, like several other Indonesian leaders before him, did not go significantly enough.

“The recognition is not really enough. It should not need been only repent, but also apology, ” Usman Hamid, director of Amnesty International Indonesia told AFP, adding the government ought to resolve the rights abuses through the legal courts.

© Agence France-Presse

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