Indonesia widows to sue Netherlands over killings

10th December 2009, Comments 7 comments

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

7 Comments To This Article

  • maurice@1972 posted:

    on 12th December 2009, 01:16:08 - Reply

    It is similar to United States Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. Their war was ended in 1781. British stopped to claim US after Treaty of Paris in 1783. US used 4th of July, 1776 as a basis of their Independence day, we do the same. I don't think a recognition from the Netherlands is important for us.
  • b4blue posted:

    on 11th December 2009, 10:15:30 - Reply

    Its still wrong. Like if I would first say I am the winner of gold medal in swimming and then fight for it. They could have lost...
  • zerma1 posted:

    on 11th December 2009, 09:49:58 - Reply

    @B4Blue : if you can read dutch, read this one :
    De Tweede Kamer vindt dat de aanwezigheid van minister Bot (Buitenlandse Zaken) tijdens de viering van onafhankelijkheidsdag in Indonesië, impliceert dat Nederland de onafhankelijkheid van Indonesië vanaf 1945 erkent. Dat blijkt uit de standpunten van politieke partijen die samen een meerderheid in de Kamer hebben. Indonesië viert op 17 augustus 60 jaar onafhankelijkheid. Een omstreden moment, omdat Nederland déze datum nog steeds niet officieel erkent.

    Het is voor het eerst dat een Nederlandse minister de plechtigheid op deze Indonesische feestdag zal bijwonen. In eerdere jaren was de Nederlandse ambassadeur in Jakarta Nederland de hoogste vertegenwoordiger.
    Indonesië beschouwt 17 augustus 1945 als de dag waarop het onafhankelijk werd van Nederland. In Nederland ligt dat gevoelig, omdat de Nederlandse regering zich op het standpunt stelt dat Indonesië dat juridisch gezien pas werd op 27 december 1949. Op die dag ondertekenden koningin Juliana en vice-president Hatta van Indonesië de soevereiniteitsoverdracht in Amsterdam. Nederland heeft 17 augustus nooit erkend als de verjaardag van de Republiek Indonesië.

    Source :

    And btw, the year 1800 is wrong ... dutch first colonialized Indonesia in 1600
  • maurice@1972 posted:

    on 10th December 2009, 20:06:26 - Reply

    We declared in 1945, period. After that we fought in wars and diplomacies against the Dutch who tried again to occupy our land.
  • b4blue posted:

    on 10th December 2009, 16:07:18 - Reply

    1949 - gained
  • zerma1 posted:

    on 10th December 2009, 15:24:02 - Reply

    Correct me if I am wrong, but Indonesia gained it's independence in 1945 and not 1949.
  • b4blue posted:

    on 10th December 2009, 11:54:28 - Reply

    Great countries have bloody past and present.