Gender-Based Crimes Against Humanity [Download pdf] - Komnas Perempuan

Ebook Title             Gender-Based Crimes Against Humanity

Ebook Thickness  : 274 Pages

Ebook Language   : English

The truth about the series of events that took place in September 1965 remains hidden and is beyond the scope of this report. However, Komnas Perempuan notes that the official version of what happened in 1965 does not describe the wave of violence perpetrated by state officials in the aftermath of the murder of the seven military officers on September 30th, 1965. This omission, which continues until today, constitutes an official denial that lies at the heart of continued discrimination and persecution towards victims.

In the mid-1960s, Indonesia was in the midst of highly charged political turmoil, with tensions among Muslim groups, the military, and groups aligned with the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI). On September 30th, 1965, a group of middle-ranking military officers with alleged links to the PKI, kidnapped and murdered six army generals and one officer.

In response, Major-General Soeharto was appointed to lead the military operation to crush the rebellious group. Mass killings began on the islands of Java and Bali, and in other parts of the country in October 1965. To date, the number killed in this carnage is still undetermined, but is estimated at between 500,000 to a million deaths. At least another million were incarcerated, and subjected to torture and ill-treatment without any legal recourse or trial. Prisoners detained during events around 1965, which included men, women and children, were gradually released by 1979. Although they were closely monitored and required to report to the authorities, their civil and political rights were never fully restored.

Established in the context of revolutionary zeal in 1950, Gerwani (the Indonesian Women’s Movement) aimed to achieve equal rights for women through organizing skills and literacy training for women, and establishing preschools in rural areas. By 1965, Gerwani, claiming a membership of 1.7 million women, took an active lead in implementing the national policy of agrarian reform, in close affiliation with PKI and other farmers’ organizations. Gerwani also participated in volunteer trainings for government-led political campaigns to liberate Irian Jaya (now Papua) and against Malaysia.

During the period of the 1965 Tragedy, members of Gerwani and other women suspected of affiliation with PKI, became the target of systematic killings, forced disappearance, arbitrary detention, torture, and sexual violence. Komnas Perempuan believes that Gerwani was the target of a smear campaign designed to bring about its total destruction.

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