Letter: Carmel Budiardjo obituary

John Gittings writes: Carmel’s organisation Tapol was a lonely voice in exposing the plight of tens of thousands of political prisoners and their families

Andrew Hickman’s obituary of Carmel Budiardjo, the campaigner for human rights and justice in Indonesia, refers to the political effects of the cold war in south-east Asia. One consequence was that the west turned a blind eye to the 1965 massacre in Indonesia and to the anti-left purge under General Suharto.

Carmel’s organisation Tapol was a lonely voice in exposing the plight of tens of thousands of political prisoners and their families. She was wonderfully forthright and focused on the cause. In 1990 when I visited Indonesia for the Guardian to cover the – largely ignored – 25th anniversary of the massacre, her help with contacts included the great novelist and ex-prisoner Pramoedya Ananta Toer, and proved to be invaluable.

Contributor

John Gittings

The GuardianTramp

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