Netherlands appeals Indonesian independence war verdict
The Dutch carried out large-scale torture and killings during the independence war in Indonesia
The Dutch government has launched an appeal against a court order to pay compensation for torture carried out against a teenage farmer during the Indonesian Independence War of 1945 to 1949.
Last year, Indonesian farmer Yaseman, who has since died, told the District Court at The Hague in Holland that the Royal Dutch Indies army had held him captive and tortured him for more than a year in 1947, ABC Australia reported.
Yaseman talked to the judges via an internet video link as he was too frail to make the journey to The Hague. He told them that Dutch soldiers used a lump of wood to smash him on the skull and stubbed out cigarettes on his head. Photos of scars on his scalp were presented in the court.
He also claimed that he was subjected to electric shocks and was kicked in the stomach after being forced to drink huge volumes of water.
Just months after giving testimony, and before he could hear the result of the hearing, Yaseman passed away.
The court accepted his testimony as pro0f and found enough evidence to prove Yaseman’s claims. The Dutch government was then ordered to pay US$8,648 in compensation.
The court order has since been appealed by the Netherlands government.
Yaseman’s lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld said it is an established fact that the Dutch committed large-scale torture and killings during the independence war in Indonesia and that it is a shame they are not taking responsibility.
The same district court ordered the Dutch government to pay compensation to the widows and relatives of 150 men who were killed in a massacre in West Java in December 1947.