The IPT 65 Final Report: Call for Recognition

The International People’s Tribunal (IPT) 1965 established to end the impunity for the crimes against humanity in Indonesia during and after 1965 finally on 20 July 2016 has issued its ruling or so called the Final Report of the hearings held in The Hague, Netherlands from 10 to 13 November 2015 ago. But what will happen next?

The verdict of the IPT  basically  stated that Indonesian government particularly and other states (United States, the United Kingdom  and Australia) are guilty of various gross human rights violations in 1965 event and ahead, ranging from murder, enslavement, imprisonment, torture, sexual violence, persecution, enforced disappearance, hate propaganda. It also called on Indonesian government to take adequate and immediate meassures.

Unlike during the New Order era with fully-controlled publication, people now can easily find those documents. The efforts to reveal the truth grass human rights violations of 65 event mainly increased since New Order administration led by Soeharto collapsed. It was marked  by the increasing number of fearlessness witnesses and the finding of mass graves in some areas such as Java, Bali, Sumatra. Publications in form of academic journalistic reports, academic journals, books and documentary films also has uncover the mystery.

The 30 September event as well known as G30S is the worst tragedy against humanity ever accured in Inndonesia history. Calculated, thousands of people has been victim perpetrated by the New Order under Soeharto’s administration. Hundreds of people has been victim of extrajudicial killing and detention followed by persecution and stigmatitation.

Moreover, the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) through an Ad Hoc investigator team has already established and worked since 2008. They founded various spread considerable and systematic crime acts  and stipulated its as  gross human rights violation. As follow, the commission has also recommended the Supreme Attorney to conduct investigation and prosecution. Sadly, the recommendation was not carried out by the Supreme Court due to insufficient data excuse.

Ironically, the fact that Indonesia has good records in term of ratification human rights international treaties, but there is still a huge lack of progress, both in implementation and enforcement. Indonesia has also been re-elected to a fourth-term as a member of the UN Human Rights Council and one of initiators of ASEAN Intergovernmental Human rights Commission.  Additionally, Indonesia is one of a few states that has human rights national action plan and an active National Commission of Human Rights.

Based on international human rights law, the IPT is endeed neither a truly international tribunal nor a legally binding decision as the nature of formal courts. IPT can simply be categorized as a hearing process.  Nevertheless it should be respected by all parties particularly Indonesian government. It also needs to take into account all alleged perpetrators before the trial mechanism.

It is regrettable when the government of Indonesia did not accept the invitation to participate in the hearings or make submissions to the Tribunal. As a nation that is gradually transforming from authoritarian to democracy, Indonesia should not arrogantly deny the truth.  Indonesia has to be honest and deal with part of its own dark nation history.  Indonesian government should respect it and also comply with international human rights law and its enforcement mechanisms as well as its national regulation mainly the law number 39 year 1999 on Human rights and the law number 26  year 2000 on Human Rights Court. At least, we are waiting for political will of the president to immediately  recognize it and sincerely appologize.


Published by Tongam Panggabean

I am what I wrote, I write therefore I am

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