After Long Silence, Indonesia Allows Talk of Anti-Communist Atrocities

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When Putu Oka Sukanta was awakened by knocking on his door late one night in October 1966, he says, he instinctively knew who was there.

Indonesian soldiers, police officers and plainclothes intelligence agents took Mr. Sukanta, then a 27-year-old high school teacher and poet, to a military barracks in the capital, Jakarta, where he was beaten and tortured during three months of interrogation about “leftist” activities.

“They asked questions that I did not understand,” he said recently. “They forced me to say ‘yes’ to things I did not know about.”

Mr. Sukanta would spend a decade imprisoned without trial, emerging only in 1976 — as thin as a matchstick, he said.




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