Indonesia. Former dictator Suharto passed away in January
at the age of 86 after a long illness. He goes to history as
one of Asia's most blood-soaked despots. He gradually seized
power from 1965, when he, as army general, defeated a coup
attempt and crushed the influential Communist Party. At
least half a million people, a significant portion of
Chinese burden, were killed by the military. As president of
1968, Suharto was also the chief responsible for brutal
military attacks in East Timor, as well as in the provinces
of Papua and Aceh.
In the aftermath of the Suharto dictatorship, around
1,400 people were killed by local militias supported by the
Indonesian army when East Timor in 1999 voted for
independence. A Truth Commission appointed by both states in
a report in July Indonesia gave the main responsibility for the
violence. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, on behalf of
the state, assumed responsibility and asked for forgiveness
but rejected the idea that an international war criminal
court should be set up. Indonesia's own attempt to answer those
guilty has resulted in almost perfect acquittals.
In May, the government announced that Indonesia will leave the
oil exporting countries' cooperative organization OPEC.
Countryaah reports, in
recent years, the country's oil production has decreased so
much that Indonesia in 2008 became a net importer of oil.
In November, the three men convicted as the main culprit
for the terrorist attacks in Bali in 2002, when 202 people
were killed, including six Swedes. Imam Samudra as well as
the Amrozi and Mukhla brothers arched on a prison island off
In cooperation with the World Nature Phone, the
Indonesian state and the ten provincial governments at
Sumatra signed an agreement in October to try to save the
island's forest stock and fauna. Sumatra is estimated to
have lost half of its forest cover over the past 20 years,
including through fires that were deliberately created to
clear land for plantations. As a result of the reduced
vegetation, landslides and floods have become more common.
Wild animals such as orangutans, tigers, elephants and
rhinos are greatly threatened.
In January 2016, Islamic State (IS) took charge of a
series of military attacks in Jakarta that cost 4 militants
and 4 civilian lives. The government took the opportunity to
tighten terror laws, increase the possibility of torture,
arbitrary detention and the death penalty.
Indonesia broke a 50-year taboo in April 2016 as it
supported the conduct of a seminar for survivors and family
members of killers in the state's witch-hunt and killing of
$ 1 million. alleged communists in 1965-66. The opening,
however, did not extend beyond President Widodo in July to
appoint General Wiranto as Minister of Security. In 1999,
Wiranto was commander of the Indonesian forces in East Timor
and responsible for the massacres of thousands of East
Timorese and the burning of the country. The crimes were so
serious that in 2003 the UN charged him with crimes against
humanity, and in 2004 the United States placed him on a list
of people the superpower would not grant entry. In 2016, he
then became "Minister of Security".
At least 2,200 activists from Irian Jaya were arrested
during the April-September period during peaceful
demonstrations in Indonesian and Irian Jaya cities against
the Indonesian occupation. Dozens of activists were
sentenced to shorter prison sentences for their
Criminal punishment continued to be applied in Aceh
province through 2016 in accordance with Sharia. More than
100 people were stabbed, usually for selling alcohol or for
staying in a room with a person of the other sex, without a
family member present. The penalty was almost always used
against Muslims, but in 2016 it was also used against a
Christian woman, accused of selling alcohol.