Amnesty International has urged the government to use the information contained in recently declassified United States Embassy archives on the Indonesian mass killings of 1965 as new momentum to reveal the truth and deliver justice to survivors.
The US National Declassification Center published the so-called Jakarta Embassy Files, consisting of 39 secret archives containing approximately 30,000 pages, in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday (17/10). The archives, which span the period between 1964 and 1968, were revealed to the public at the request of George Washington University’s National Security Archive.
“Amnesty International urges the Indonesian government to do same [release secret archives] to ensure accountability and justice for the survivors,” Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said in Jakarta on Friday.
The documents consist of reports and telegrams from the US Embassy in Jakarta to the US State Department to inform it of systemic human rights violations in Indonesia. Ambassadors serving during this period were Howard P. Jones (1958-1965) and Marshall Green (1965-1969).
Usman said despite a strong response to the revealed documents, it is not yet clear what impact the declassified documents will have on efforts to find the truth.
“There needs to be a comparison between the newly revealed documents and other findings by the government, civilians and academics. […] Thus, we are pushing state institutions, including the TNI [Indonesian Military], which is repeatedly mentioned in the documents, to also open their archives to complement the internationally disseminated discourse,” Usman said.
Responding the revelation, Chief Security Minister Wiranto said on Thursday that the declassified files cannot automatically be taken into account in legal proceedings as they need to be examined first.
Amnesty International has also documented human rights violations between 1965 and 1966. The public can access its archives at www.indonesia1965.org.