The Indonesian president says he will ensure compensation for victims of human rights abuses, but was silent on prosecution.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo took nearly a decade to make good on his 2014 election promise to address the nation’s historic gross human abuses — most of them the bloody work of the police and military.
Last week Widodo (known as Jokowi in Indonesia) listed 12 of the historic atrocities that have blighted the nation’s human rights record. Hundreds of thousands of Indonesians were killed, tortured, raped, jailed and exiled in these incidents, and these are only the best known of the widespread and systematic abuses by the armed forces. He expressed his deep regret and resolve to ensure some form of compensation would be made.
Now nearing the end of a second five-year term in office, Widodo is likely considering his legacy and standing with Indonesians and the international community. According to various surveys, most Indonesians want accountability for the armed forces’ brutality that has stained Indonesia’s record. Last year Widodo assembled a team led by veteran diplomat Makarim Wibisono to investigate historic abuses and recommend reparations.
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