The Jakarta Method

The Jakarta Method

Washington’s Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World

Book Review

In September 2017, a group of elderly victims of the mass violence that occurred in Indonesia in 1965 and 1966 had planned to gather, with their families, to mark the anniversary at the offices of Jakarta’s Legal Aid Institute, known as Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Jakarta (LBH). But the event was shut down by police, in response to the angry demands of ultranationalists and Islamist protesters.

The next day, LBH decided defiantly to hold an ad hoc human rights festival at its offices, with music, comedy and art. The radical right-wingers turned up, in large numbers, barricading attendees in the building. Then they turned violent. Witnesses described fragile genocide survivors in their seventies and eighties trapped inside the venue overnight without food or water, as the mob outside yelled, “Eliminate the communists.” It was hours before the rioters were dispersed by authorities, with few arrests.

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