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Press releases Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

Indonesia - historical violations

13 January 2023

Delivered by

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Liz Throssell



We welcome President Joko Widodo’s acknowledgment and expression of regret for 12 historical incidents of serious human rights violations, including the 1965-1966 anti-Communist crackdown, the 1982-1985 protester shootings, enforced disappearances in 1997 and 1998, and the Wamena Incident in Papua in 2003. The President’s gesture is a step on the long road to justice for victims and their loved ones.

This follows a report by the Team for the Non-Judicial Resolution of Past Serious Human Rights Violations, which was appointed by the President. We hope the report will be made public to encourage discussion and debate.

We note the President’s statement, delivered on Wednesday, does not preclude further judicial action and commits to reforms that should guarantee non-recurrence.

We urge the Indonesian Government to build on this momentum with tangible steps to take forward a meaningful, inclusive and participatory transitional justice process, guaranteeing truth, justice, reparations, and non-recurrence to victims and affected communities, including victims of conflict-related sexual violence.

A comprehensive transitional justice process will help to break the decades-long cycle of impunity, advance national healing, and strengthen Indonesia’s democracy.

An estimated half a million people were killed in the anti-Communist crackdown of the 1960s and scores of pro-reform protesters lost their lives in killings during the 1980s.


For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Geneva
Liz Throssell + 41 22 917 9296 / [email protected] or
Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / [email protected]or
Jeremy Laurence +  +41 22 917 9383 / [email protected] or
Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / [email protected]

In Nairobi
Seif Magango - +254 788 343 897 / [email protected]

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