Date: Saturday, 10-December-2011, 0:37 AM | Message # 1
-- dragon lord--
An official apology from The Netherlands for a 1947 massacre in Indonesia has relieved relatives who've been struggling for justice. (Dec. 9)
The Netherlands has formally apologized to the families of those killed in a 1947 massacre by Dutch troops on Indonesia's Java Island. Activists say the landmark move sets an important precedent, but also highlights the hypocrisy of the Indonesian government in dealing with human rights abuses committed at home.
The Dutch ambassador to Indonesia, Tjeerd de Zwan, issued the official apology Friday in the village of Rawagede, where Dutch troops rounded up and executed up to 430 men in 1947, during Indonesia's bitter struggle for independence.
The Dutch government has never prosecuted any soldiers for the massacre, despite a United Nations report condemning the attack as "deliberate and ruthless" that was issued as early as 1948.
While no individuals have been charged, a court in The Hague ruled in September that the Dutch government should pay compensation of $27,000 to nine of the victims’ families.
The landmark ruling and official apology by the ambassador Friday marks a breakthrough in the Dutch taking responsibility for the harm caused by their colonial policies.