With all eyes currently fixed on the war in Ukraine, Paralympians competing in Beijing can show us the bright side of international cooperation.
Indonesia, the history of the genocide in which 400,000 people were killed
La sentenza arriva dal Tribunale internazionale del popolo (Ipt): quello in Indonesia fu un genocidio che vide 400mila sostenitori del Partito Comunista uccisi tra il 1965 e il 1967 per mano di Suharto.
The International People’s Tribunal (IPT) has said that Indonesia is responsible for the genocide of 1965, when more than 400,000 supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) were killed. Zak Yacoob, chief justice of the tribunal formed at the Hague in 2015 after efforts to bring the mass killers to justice had failed, said that Indonesia must act “urgently and without qualification” to address the genocide. Yacoob also told Al Jazeera that “aside from prosecuting those involved in the killings, the government must also apologise to all victims or their survivors, as well ensure appropriate compensation and reparation”.
The coup and the support of the United States
The killings of the supporters of the PKI, the world’s third biggest communist Party after China and Russia, started on 2 October 1965. General Suharto, responsible of army reservists and successor of Sukarno from 1967, launched a campaign to wipe out all the party’s officials and supporters. He invaded the capital Jakarta and assumed the presidency with a coup.
The support of CIA, the US embassy, and the UK secret service has been essential for the General to establish himself. The United States has in fact trained Indonesian officials in the school of Bandung. CIA also played a crucial role in planning the anti-communist propaganda for the leaders of the coup, by spreading false information on atrocities perpetrated by communists and inciting racial hatred against Chinese people and atheists. The United States’ embassy and intelligence agency also drew up a list of 5,000 PKI supporters to be wiped out, easing the army’s aim of physically destroying the Party.
Violence and the accusation of crimes against humanity
The report has detailed 10 human rights violations carried out against civilians, including imprisonment, torture and sexual violence. The massacre also killed members of trade union movements, academics, artists, democratic parties, student leaders, journalists, Chinese people and civilians. Some estimates show that more than a million people have been killed. The bodies of the victims were dumped into rivers, buried or abandoned along the streets. The killings were also carried out by “death squads”, like the Pancasila Youth, whose school of thought still exists in the currently governing Partai Demokrat.
Who was General Suharto
The main responsible for the genocide, General Suharto, has never been punished. He died at his home in Jakarta in 2008. Suharto assumed the presidency in 1967 and ruled until 1998, giving life to one of the world’s most corrupted governments, blocking media and signing monopolistic agreements for the benefit of his circle of friends and relatives (including his 6 sons). Moreover, he ordered the invasion of Portugal’s former colony Timor Est in 1975, killing thousands of civilians and opponents (100,000 people according to estimates). The extent of these actions was recognised by the United Nations no earlier than 1993. In 1996, when Suharto expelled Sukarno’s daughter Megawati Sukarnoputri from the lead of Indonesia’s Democratic Party of Struggle (one of the three legally recognised parties), a number of riots were organised in the capital that led Suharto to resign in 1998.
The future of the verdict
“It’s a very important verdict for a case that’s been haunting Indonesia for the past 51 years,” said Step Vaessen reporting from Java, where most of the massacres happened. “The question now is, what’s the Indonesian government going to do with these findings?” So far, all governments have completely rejected the existence of the people’s tribunal. With no legal basis, this verdict has no practical and legal implications but only a symbolic value. The hope now is that the results may urge the government to take action. As long as it keeps being talked about.
Quest'opera è distribuita con Licenza Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 4.0 Internazionale.
The threat of a Russian invasion has changed the lives of Ukraine’s people. The story of the Ukraine crisis as told by men, women, and soldiers.
At Beijing 2022 politics and superpower rivalry are dominating the headlines. Nowhere is this more evident than in the treatment of Eileen Gu, the US-born Chinese freestyle skier that is taking the sport by storm.
We meet the women working to reverse trends of disengagement with studies, normalise motherhood in universities, and counteract gender disparities to improve access to academic careers for Colombian women and mothers.
With the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics about to start, China is under the spotlight as it seeks to deliver on its promise of holding the first ever carbon-neutral Olympic Games.
A lack of transparency in the fashion supply chains favours labour rights violations and environmental damage. Fashion Revolution is trying to change this.
The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has shone a painful spotlight on the dire conditions of tea garden workers struggling against poverty in India.
After having told the story of the women fighting against ISIS, director Benedetta Argentieri returns to Syria to document the revolutionary transformation happening in Raqqa.
Tokyo hosts the Olympics but Tohoku, the region hit by the 2011 disaster, also takes centre stage. Its symbol is a miracle pine.