Discriminatory 1966 MPRS Resolution should be revoked, says TAPOL

2 Oct 2009

TAPOL has today written to the Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, urging the British government to call upon the Indonesian government to revoke a law adopted by the New Order regime of General Suharto in 1966 which still poses a threat to tens of thousands of Indonesians who were arrested in 1965 and held without charge or trial for many years for alleged membership of or association with the Indonesian Communist Party.

The letter states:

'During the New Order, a raft of laws and regulations were enacted which became the justification for a range of discriminatory practices. Shocking as it may seem, many of these laws and regulations are still in force and continue to represent a threat to these Indonesian citizens and even, on occasion, to their children.

'The chief regulation which vested special powers in the President was MPRS Resolution No. XXV/1966 adopted on July 5, 1966 by the Provisional People's Consultative Assembly (MPRS) which outlawed the teachings of Marxism-Leninism.

Article 2 of this Resolution reads as follows:

'All activities undertaken in Indonesia to spread or promote the beliefs or teachings of Communism/Marxism-Leninism in all its forms and manifestations, using whatever means including the media for the spread and promotion of these beliefs or teachings, shall be prohibited.'

TAPOL reminds the Foreign Secretary that Indonesia is a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the provisions of which are binding upon Indonesia.

Pointing out that, as in previous years, many demands were raised in Indonesia this week for the revocation of MPRS Resolution XXV/1966, TAPOL said that it adds its voice to these demands.

The Indonesian government 'should revoke this Resolution without delay, in order to safeguard the civil and political rights of these 1965 victims who can still be subject to discrimination merely for allegedly having been members of the PKI or in any way allegedly associated with it.'