HAGUE COURT ORDERS DUTCH STATE TO PAY OUT OVER COLONIAL MASSACRES


29/03/2020




İrem GÖL - TDO- The relatives of the five men summarily executed during the final years of Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia had their cases heard in court. The executions carried out by Dutch soldiers took place in 1947 during so-called “cleansing actions” on South Celebes, now called Sulawesi, an island east of Borneo. Japan had occupied the then Dutch colony of the Dutch East Indies during the Second World War, but after its capitulation the nationalist leaders Sukarno and Hate proclaims the Republic of Indonesia on 17 August 1945. For the following four years, the Netherlands fought to prolong its 350 years of colonial rule of the country, often through barbaric means.

The court found that 11 men had been killed as a result of misbehavior by Dutch soldiers, mostly by summary executions. One man was randomly shot. And the court ordered the Dutch State to pay compensation to victims of colonial massacres in the 1940s.

Liesbeth Zegveldi the claimants’ lawyer said: “We are pleased with the ruling. It wasn’t easy; it took eight years of proceedings. It’s a pity that the Netherlands government hasn’t been forthcoming, as many of our clients passed away during the proceedings. Nevertheless, for those still alive and all the families, the court’s recognition of their suffering and their entitlement to compensation is important.”


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