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 Activists report 122 mass graves of 1965 victims across Java and Sumatra

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BerichtOnderwerp: Activists report 122 mass graves of 1965 victims across Java and Sumatra   di 3 mei 2016 - 11:13

From the Jak Pos, Tuesday, May 3 2016

Right activists visited the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister on Monday to report their findings on 122 mass graves across Java and Sumatra containing the bodies of at least 13,900 victims of the 1965 communist purge.

The findings, from the Murder Victims Research Foundation ( YPKP ) 1965/1966, were compiled from a study it began in 2000 involving victims and witnesses of the massacre that killed at least 500,000 people accused of being affiliated with the now-defunct Indonesian Communist Party ( PKI ).

Reza Muharam, a member of the International People's Tribunal ( IPT ) on the 1965 tragedy, an organization that supports YPKP, said the report was intended to urge the coordinating minister to immediately coordinate with the National Commission on Human Rights ( Komnas HAM ) to settle the human rights abuse case.

Earlier, the activists had handed over the report to Komnas HAM to be investigated, since it was the commission that was authorized by law to investigate the case, Reza said.

"Now the office of the coordinating minister doesn't have any more excuses to say there are no mass graves [...] it should cooperate with Komnas HAM and the Attorney General's Office ( AGO ) to take action and reveal the truth," Reza told the journalists.

The data was important part of pushing the judicial process, which remains at the AGO even though Komnas HAM filed a report of its investigation into the 1965 massacre to the AGO in 2012. Reza said that besides this, it was also significant as a part of efforts to allow truth to prevail.

Based on the findings, there are 122 mass graves in 12 provinces across Java and Sumatra, with the highest number in Central Java with 50 graves alone. However, as the study continued, so did the number of sites, Reza said.

Bedjo Untung, the head of YPKP, said the 122 mass graves were only two percent of the real number spread across Indonesia. Their locations were dispersed and often not in secluded areas, with some buried under parks, forests and street pavement, while some are hidden under malls or housing complexes.

"The findings have become the start of true reconciliation and the revelation of truth," Bedjo said.

Previously, Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan has said that if there really were mass graves of 1965 victims, the government would apologize for the killings.

The government should immediately address the issue, Bedjo said, now that the locations of the mass graves had been found, some parties would try to interfere with the locations erase the trace of the killings, Bedjo said.

Meanwhile, the coordinating minister’s deputy assistant for human rights protection and advancement, Brig. Gen. Hafil Fuddin who received the report said the findings would be taken into consideration in drafting the policy to settle past human rights abuses.

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