Jokowi urged to revoke New Order regulations on victims of 1965 mass killings

CNN Indonesia – January 12, 2023
Bedjo Untung holds picture of Suharto at rally outside Presidential Palace in Jakarta – 2019 (UCA)

Jakarta – A victim of the 1965 gross human rights violations, Bedjo Untung, is urging President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to revoke all legislation inherited from former president Suharto's New Order (Orba) regime that discriminate against victims of the 1965 killings.

According to Untung, this step has to be taken if Widodo truly wants to restore the victims' rights.

"Jokowi must immediately revoke, evaluate laws inherited from the Orba, if this is not done, then resolving the 65 [mass killings] is empty talk", Untung told CNN Indonesia on Wednesday January 11.

One of the regulations referred to by Untung is Presidential Decree (Kepres) Number 28/1975 on the Treatment of Those Involved in the September 30 Movement (G30S) Category C.

Article 1 of the decree states that Category C are those who were involved or allegedly involved indirectly in the G30S rebellion. Those who were given this category had many of their rights revoked, including the right to work.

Then there is the Provisional People's Consultative Assembly Decree (TAP MPRS) Number XXV/1966. One of its provisions prohibits the dissemination or development of communist, Marxist or Leninist ideas and teachings in any form or manifestation.

According to Untung, this prohibition should not exist. Moreover it has been reinforced through the recently enacted Criminal Code (KUHP).

"There is also the Home Affairs Minister decree. To this day there is still a prohibition, not being allowed to join the armed forces, be a doctor, teacher, it still hasn't been revoked. It should be just, fair, right", he said.

Untung wants the 1965 affair to tried in court saying that there were thousands of innocent people who became victims of the humanitarian crimes.

"Meaning the 65 problem, especially what I experienced, must be revealed as clearly as possible so there is no [more] slander, labeling, stigmatisation or discrimination against us", he said.

He is urging Jokowi to issue a presidential decree on general rehabilitation for the victims.

"We the victims have experienced suffering, been tortured, detained, forced labour, so issue a presidential decree on general rehabilitation", he said.

"To restore the victim's lives as they were before the incident occurred because we were innocent but our rights were taken away. [Our] economic, political and social rights, our youth was lost", he added.

Earlier, Widodo stated that he acknowledge that gross human rights violations did occurred in Indonesia and that he regretted these incidents.

"With a sincere heart, I, as the head of the Republic of Indonesia acknowledge that gross human rights violations did occur during various incidents", said Widodo at a press conference at the Merdeka Palace on Wednesday.

Widodo used the opportunity to cite 12 cases of past gross human rights violations that occurred in Indonesia.

Among others he mentioned the 1965-1966 affair, the 1982-1985 mysterious shootings, the 1989 Geudong House tragedy in Aceh, the forced disappearance of activists in 1997-1998 and the May 1998 riots in Jakarta. (yla/DAL)


On the night of September 30, 1965 a group of middle-ranking military officers known as the 30 September Movement (G30S) kidnapped six generals they accused of organising a coup against Indonesia's leftist President Sukarno. For reasons that remain unclear, the six were killed and their bodies dumped in a well in South Jakarta. By blaming the incident on the PKI, this provided the pretext for sections of the military, led by then Major General Suharto, to mount a bloody counter-revolution in which as many as 1 million communists and left wing sympathisers were killed. Hundreds of thousands of others were imprisoned for years without trial. The official narrative that the PKI was behind the coup has long been debunked by independent historians as a cover for the military and Suharto to stage its own ouster of Sukarno.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Jokowi Didesak Cabut Aturan Diskriminatif Orba bagi Korban HAM 65".]