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From 1965-1966 General Suharto launched an attack and the Indonesian army murdered at least half a million suspected communists. Both the military and police were responsible for the deaths. There were also forced disappearances, rape, torture, and many that were sent to prison due to the accusations. The. U.S. government was not only supportive of Suharto but had direct involvement with the mass killings.


Soe Marching's father was a political prisoner during the Indonesian genocide. He spent time in prison from 1966-1968 in Surabaya cramped in a cell that was made for two with up to a dozen other prisoners. While he was there he was tortured, rarely fed, couldn't walk, and his back was ruined so his family thought he was going to die like the other prisoners. Marching's mother was scared for her to reveal her father's story because of the stigma that comes along with it. Several other victims and survivors have kept quiet due to fear. Since Marching has told the truth about her father she's received hundreds of death threats, but it hasn't stopped her from working with other families to write a book of testimonies from the genocide.

Al Jazeera

Sri Sulistyawati is another one of the many who was arrested and imprisoned in Indonesia. She spent 11 and a half years in prison and like the others she was also tortured which caused internal bleeding and knee problems. Recently Sri attended a meeting to discuss the findings that Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States were involved in the genocide and the meeting was shut down by the military. In the previous two years at least 61 meetings have been stopped by the military and police. All Sri and the others want is for the silence to end for the truth to reveal the truth.

Tribunal 1965

The silencing surrounding the Indonesian genocide continues. In August 2017 the Indonesian police and military canceled a workshop on monetary compensation for the victims. They told the workshop organizers that they couldn't conduct the meeting because they lacked a permit. Ever since the genocide happened over 50 years ago the Indonesian officials continue to justify the killings and say that it was necessary.


September 30th is the anniversary of the massacre from 1965-1966 and in 2017 General Gatot Nurmantyo ordered military personnel to prohibit any public showings of the documentary "The Look of Silence" by Joshua Oppenheimer. The film depicts the truth about the Indonesian government's support in the genocide but General Nurmantyo believes it distorts history. The week prior to the anniversary the Indonesian government was recommended by the United Nations to review the past human rights abuses but rejected it.


In October 2017 U.S. documents were released that gave evidence to their knowledge in the Indonesian genocide. It also showed their support of the slaughter. The Jakarta Embassy kept records of which PKI leaders were being executed. The U.S. also offered military and financial support to the Indonesian Army and to help suppress media coverage.

Al Jazeera

Australia also actively participated and helped the Indonesian government with the genocide through broadcasting. The Australian Embassy used Radio Australia to broadcast army propaganda while the army sized control of the media in Indonesia. Radio Australia spread false information regarding the communists and the Indonesian Army gave instructions as to what topics and even phrases to use.

Australian Institute of International Affairs

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