Indonesia’s Suharto given state funeral
A look at the life and human rights abuses of former Indonesian president Suharto.
1/28/2008 Indonesia (Spero) Thousands of people lined roadways in the Central Java city of Solo to watch the motorcade carrying Mr. Suharto’s body.
Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, a former military general who owes his career to Mr. Suharto, has declared a week of national mourning for the controversial ex-president. The current leader delivered a eulogy at the funeral.
Although widely acknowledged for bringing modernity and economic prosperity to Indonesia, much of that legacy has been tainted by accusations of corruption and massive human rights abuses.
Human Rights Watch and other advocacy groups are calling for justice for the victims of human rights abuses during Mr. Suharto’s decades long rule.
At least half a million people were killed in anti-communist purges in the months following Mr. Suharto’s rise to power in 1965.
Mr. Suharto’s military ruled with impunity, jailing or killing hundreds of thousands of political opponents, student activists, and anti-government forces in Aceh, Papua, and East Timor, which Indonesia invaded in 1975.
“The missing piece in Indonesia’s reform story is justice. Mr. Suharto died without ever being brought to trial for the many serious crimes which were committed under his leadership,” said Saunders. “It’s an imperative to bring to justice many of his cronies who were directly involved – whether we’re talking about 1965, Timor, Aceh, Papua.