PKI victims accuse Komnas HAM of delaying release of 1965 report

Tribune News – January 17, 2012
Former Gerwani member Sumarsih takes part in protest against Komnas HAM - January 17, 2012 (Tribune)
Former Gerwani member Sumarsih takes part in protest against Komnas HAM - January 17, 2012 (Tribune)

Nurmulia Rekso Purnomo, Jakarta – Victims of human rights violations held a protest action on Tuesday January 17 demanding that the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) immediately announce the results of an investigation in to the 1965-66 affair. The action was held at the Komnas HAM offices in the Menteng area of Central Jakarta.

Sumarsih (80), the former chairperson of the Bojonegoro City Gerwani (Indonesian Women’s Movement) branch in East Java in 1950 said she was disappointed with Komnas HAM because to this day they have not resolved the slaughter and expropriation of the rights of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members and people deemed to be linked to the party.

“Like me, at the time I didn’t know about communists, I was just involved in organising, but why then was I deemed to be a communist”, she said.

Based upon this stigmatisation, she suffered behind the cold steel bars of the Malang penitentiary in East Java from 1968 to 1977. She lost all of her possessions had her grandchildren have suffered from discrimination to this day.

Beny Biki, a relative of Amir Biki, one of the victims of the Tanjung Priok massacre of Muslim protesters in 1984 was also present at the action. He also said he was disappointed in Komnas HAM’s performance and doubts the creditability of the commission, which has been unable to shed light on the 1965 affair.

Komnas HAM has questioned 357 victims from around the country but has twice delayed the official endorsement of the results of their investigation into the 1965 case.

Nur Kholis, one of Komnas HAM’s commissioners who eventually emerged to meet with the demonstrators said that the investigation is almost complete but a number of technical obstacles still exist.

He said that Komnas HAM’s investigation found evidence of murder, mass killings, rape, the expropriation of people’s rights and the forced disappearance of persons. “We have also included evidence of criminal liability, particularly the liability of commanders, military people”, he asserted.

[Korban PKI Nilai Komnas HAM Lamban Ungkap Kasus 1965 – Selasa, 17 Januari 2012. Translated by James Balowski.]