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Human Rights Watch Indonesia 1965-1966: Crimes, Calamities and the Quest for Accountability 
Wednesday, 11 Apr 2018
4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
303 International Center
Asian Studies Center
Event Details:
Phelim Kine is the deputy director of the Asia division at Human Rights Watch (HRW). Mr. Kine, a former Jakarta based foreign correspondent, supervises HRW's work on Indonesia and is part of the HRW team pushing for accountability for the massacres of 1965 - 1966.
For decades, public challenges to the official narrative of Indonesia's state-orchestrated 1965-66 massacres that killed more than 500,000 people have been the country's most visceral taboo. In April 2016, the Indonesian government of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo eased the official chokehold on the discussion of the killings and raised hopes that he would begin a process toward meaningful accountability for those atrocities.
Two years later, those hopes have been dashed by a backlash by a revival of anti-Communist propaganda by paramilitary groups, senior military officials, and Islamists that have portrayed tentative discussions about accountability as a veneer for a state-destabilizing and anti-Islam revival of the Communist Party of Indonesia. Civil society activists pursuing accountability have been targeted with harassment and intimidation, and the politicization of the issue in the run-up to what will be a fiercely-contested presidential election in 2019 has rendered accountability an unmentionable political third-rail.
Asian Studies Center with funding from the International and Foreign Language Education Office, U.S. Department of Education, Center for Gender in Global Context, Department of Political Science, James Madison College, Jewish Studies, Muslim Studies Program, Peace and Justice Studies