Thursday, December 10, 2009

Indonesia widows to sue Netherlands over killings

December 9, 2009

The widows of nine Indonesians killed by Dutch soldiers during the country's war of independence plan to sue the Netherlands for damages, their lawyer said on Wednesday.
The Hague--The nine women want compensation for the death of their husbands at the hands of the Dutch army in 1947 when soldiers attacked their village, Rawagedeh, on the Indonesian island of Java.

"The victims want the Dutch state's responsibility to be recognised and compensation to be paid," lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld told AFP.

Authorities in the Netherlands say 150 people died in the attack, while a victims' association claims 431 lost their lives.

"The Netherlands has never taken any legal action against those responsible for this bloodshed," Zegveld said. "There is no reason why this case should not be heard by the court, when charges relating to World War II are still being considered today."

Aad Meijer, a spokesman for the ministry of foreign affairs, said: "The Dutch government has repeatedly expressed its deep regret."

"The Netherlands and Indonesia agreed in 2005 to draw a line under this painful part of their shared history," he added, recalling that there had never been any question of a "discussion on a compensation."

The Netherlands first colonised Indonesia in 1800. It gained its independence in 1949.

AFP/ Expatica


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