Islamic groups protest state apologising to PKI through Jokowi's new rights team

CNN Indonesia – September 27, 2022
PA 212, GNPF Ulama and FPI press conference in Jakarta – September 27, 2022 (suara Islam)

Jakarta – The 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212), the National Movement to Safeguard the Fatwas of the Ulema (GNPF Ulama) and the Islamic Brotherhood Front (FPI) have said in a statement that they oppose the use of the recently formed Team for the Non-Judicial Resolution of Past Gross Human Rights Violations (PPHAM) as a tool to legitimise the revival of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

The statement was signed by GNPF Ulama Chairperson Yusuf Martak, PA 212 Chairperson Abdul Qohar and FPI Chairperson Islam Muhammad Alatthas on September 26. PA 212 Advisory Board Secretary Slamet Maarif has confirmed the statement.

"[We] strongly oppose the state apologising to the PKI which clearly carried out a rebellion and spread communist ideas which conflict with the state ideology of Pancasila", read point two in the statement as quoted on September 27.

The PA 212 and the other groups are demanding that the government take firm measures to prevent the reemergence of the PKI and the spread of communist ideas in Indonesia.

They also asked that legal measures be taken against any parties which try to revive communist and similar ideas. This is regulated under Provisional People's Consultative Assembly Decree (TAP MPRS) Number XXV/1966 on the Dissolution of the Indonesian Communist Party and Prohibitions on Marxist, Leninist and Communist Teachings, and under Criminal Code Articles 107a, 107b, 107c, 107d and 107e.

They also called on religious communities to be on alert for any and all efforts to revive the PKI and spread communist ideas.

"As well as organising joint screenings (Nobar) of the film the G30S/PKI rebellion as an endeavour to again remind people of the latent dangers of communism", read the fifth point in the statement, referring to the Suharto era anti-communist propaganda film The Betrayal of the September 30 Movement/Indonesian Communist Party.

On the other hand, the PA 212 and other groups also demanded that the government uncover the human rights violations which have occurred under the leadership of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

"Such as the case of the killing of 10 people in the May 21-22, 2019 incident and the death of six FPI commandos at KM 50 on the Jakarta-Cikampek toll road", read the statement.

President Widodo recently issued Presidential Decree (Keppres) Number 17/2022 on the formation of the PPHAM.

The team is tasked with uncovering and analysing past gross human rights violations based on data and recommendations from the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM). It will then recommend what steps should be taken to rehabilitate the victims and their families. (rzr/DAL)


The PPHAM, which seeks to settle past human right violations through non-judicial mechanisms, has been widely criticised by human rights groups and activists as an attempt by the Widodo government to "whitewash" past abuses and to perpetuate impunity, particularly for senior figures in Widodo's administration that are alleged to have committed past rights violations. Although the Komnas HAM has included the mass killings of up to 1 million PKI members and sympathisers by the military and right-wing Islamic groups which followed the alleged PKI coup on September 30, 1965 as a gross human rights violation, the presidential decree establishing the PPHAM makes no specific mention of the PKI or communism. The Widodo government has consistently resisted previous calls to apologies to the victims of the anti-communist purge.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "PA 212 hingga FPI Tolak Negara Minta Maaf ke PKI Lewat Tim PPHAM Berat".]