Police Destroy Copies of Campus Magazine Featuring 1965 Purge Coverage


OCTOBER 18, 2015

Jakarta. Hundreds of copies of a Central Java university campus-based magazine have been confiscated and burned by police after it's latest issue featured an in-depth report covering the 1965-1966 anti-Communist purge, in which thousands of suspected Communist party members and supporters in the area were murdered.

Lentera Magazine, run by the Satya Wacana University's school of social studies and communications in Salatiga, were asked by police to retract all 500 copies of it's latest edition published last week, chief editor Bima Satria Putra said.

"We produced 500 copies which is distributed not only inside the Satya Wacana campus but also to the people of Salatiga and various organizations in Solo, Semarang and Yogyakarta," Bima told Tempo.co on Sunday.

The edition, which featured the events on the cover to commemorate the 50th anniversary of what has been dubbed one of the world's worst mass murders in the 20th century, caused an uproar from the local government.

Police questioned magazine staff and campus officials on Sunday before asking the magazine to retract all copies to be destroyed.

The killings paved the way for the rise of Suharto, whose 32-year rule suppressed discussion of the military-led anti-Communist purge which is believe to have killed between 500,000 and 1 million Indonesians.

Attempts to uncover the truth and challenge Suharto's version of events is typically met with great resistance, even after the toppling of Suharto in 1998.