Alamat Sekretariat : Jalan Raya Bogor, KM 22 No 31, Jakarta Timur 13830,
Telp (62-021) 8400309

Previous Appeal

Second urgent appeal for solidarity from the Indonesian ex-political prisoners

Jakarta, September 2002

Dear Friends,

In our recent letter of a world-wide campaign for international solidarity from tens of millions of Indonesian ex-political prisoners and their families, we have appealed for your attention to their struggle to restore their civil rights and to defend their human dignity. In order to give more information about this campaign, we are presenting herewith to you additional clarifications concerning the different aspects of the inhuman sufferings shouldered by these millions of victims of the former military regime of Suharto.

As we have described in our previous letter, millions of ex-political prisoners and their families are now still suffering from all kinds of political persecution and psychological intimidation. During the reign of the Suharto’s dictatorial regime of more than 32 years, not only millions of innocent citizens were massacred (especially in the years of 1965 and 1966), but another hundreds of thousands of innocent people were arbitrarily detained during long years. Tens of millions of family members of persons massacred or imprisoned have suffered tremendously from all kinds of inhuman treatment during more than 32 years. It is well known in Indonesia that what has been done by the Suharto’s military regime was similar to the practices of the Hitler’s fascist regime during the years of 1933 to 1945 in Europe.

The military rule of Suharto’s regime, was an all-embracing huge machine of repression, which has been used to crush the “leftist” forces of the country. But, not only the supporters of the late President Sukarno and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) were liquidated. Other democratic forces were also severely crippled or annihilated. The existence of the military rule of Suharto’s regime was merely based on long-time cruel repression of democratic life of the country.


The downfall of the Suharto’s regime in 1998, thanks to the brave and wide-spread student movement, opens the way for the country to repair some among the grave damages made during the military rule. But, because of vastness and many-sided nature of the serious crimes perpetrated by this regime, the successive governments of President Habibi, President Abdurrahman Wahid and the present President Megawati, can not make big or fundamental changes in the country.

Corruption, which was rampant during the military rule, is always galloping wantonly until today, everywhere. The economic situation is still continuing to be difficult to the majority of the population. Unemployment reaches more than 40 millions among the 210 millions of the whole population. The external debt of the country is about 150 billions of US$, which becomes a burden for the coming generations in 10 or 20 years. The rule of law and respects for the human rights are continuing to be violated blatantly., because of the corrupted judiciary system. It is evident to anybody in Indonesia today, that the country is facing multi-dimensional crisis in the political, economical, social and moral fields, as a heritage of the former military regime.

As remnants of the past 32 years of dictatorship of Suharto, the case of families of the victims of the huge massacres of 1965-1966 and the fate of ex-political prisoners constitute one among the serious problems to be solved collectively today.


During more than 32 years of military rule, the case of the massacres of about 3 millions of innocent citizens and the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of political prisoners was a taboo to be discussed openly in Indonesia. Because of severe repressive measures against the families of the victims and suppression of democratic rights of free expression in the country, the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the military regime were never exposed clearly.. Only thanks to the strong pressure of the international public opinion, supported by the actions of many non-governmental organisations in the world, these crimes were finally known to the public.

But, despite the downfall of the military regime, the sufferings of these millions of people are not ended. The systematic indoctrination of hatred and large scale false propaganda against the supporters of President Sukarno and the PKI, carried out continuously and intensively during more than 32 years, has exercised deep influence among the state apparatus as well as in the society. Therefore, the remnants of the old state apparatus, who are still occupying important posts in the government today, continue to adopt inhuman policies and practises against millions of these victims of the “New Order” of Suharto.

Until today, members of families of the massacred people and ex-political prisoners are still facing all kinds of discriminatory measures in their daily life. They are not treated as “normal citizen” with normal fundamental rights. The majority of the former supporters of the military regime and certain sections of the Moslem community in this country are always adopting a hostile and cruel attitude against them. The struggle of the victims of the military regime to restore their civil rights and human dignity is facing, until today, many obstacles.


The restoration of the civil rights and human dignity of the families of victims of massacres in 1965-1966 and ex-political prisoners is an important component of the struggle of the Indonesian people to re-install fully democratic life, to uphold justice, to defend the supremacy of law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The continuation of the maltreatment against these millions of people is a gross violation to these fundamental rights. It constitutes also an obstacle to the common efforts in building a true national reconciliation based on justice.

Through their struggle in the present difficult political situation , the Indonesian ex-political prisoners and the families of the victims of Suharto ’s military regime want to make contribution to the common effort in fighting against impunity of the former perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

To achieve these goals, the Institute of Advocacy of Rehabilitation of Victims of the New Order (LEMBAGA) reiterates its URGENT APPEAL for your support and solidarity as has been stated in our previous letter. We propose that you (or your organisation) contact us in the very near future to study together the possibilities of fostering co-operation . And we will be very glad to welcome very soon a delegation or a representative of your organisation, in order to be able to discuss, on the spot, the various aspects of the problems of the rehabilitation of the victims of Suharto’s New Order military regime.

Thanking you in advance for your kind response to this world-wide campaign of solidarity, we remain yours faithfully,

  President                                       General Secretary

( Sumaun Utomo )                            ( Achmad Subarto )                                                                                                                                                                                                        

PS. Please kindly send your reponse to the by E-mail of the President :
Or by post and telephone to the Office, as mentioned at the top of this letter.