Gen. Prabowo gets his stars

Gen. Prabowo gets his stars
Cartoon by Guz Wid for BenarNews

Fresh off his projected victory in Feb. 14 polls as Indonesia’s incoming president, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto was bestowed the title of “honorary general” by outgoing leader Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. The incumbent president awarded four stars to the former Army Special Forces commander tainted by allegations of human rights abuses while in the military.

Jokowi, who had defeated Prabowo in the two previous presidential elections, is the father of Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who will presumably serve as Prabowo’s vice-president if and when the two are inducted into office in October. In pinning the stars to Prabowo’s uniform, the term-limited Jokowi said he was honoring Prabowo for his “complete devotion to the people, nation and state.”

Human rights advocates, however, have accused of being involved in rights abuses during Indonesia’s brutal military occupation of East Timor (Timor-Leste) and in connection with the alleged torture and abduction of pro-democracy activists in 1998, the year the Indonesian dictator Suharto fell from power. Some of them remain missing. Prabowo was expelled from the military as a result of the allegations.

More than 25 years on, mothers and other relatives of the victims belong to Aksi Kamisan (Thursday Action), an activist group demanding justice for their loved ones.  


Add your comment by filling out the form below in plain text. Comments are approved by a moderator and can be edited in accordance with RFAs Terms of Use. Comments will not appear in real time. RFA is not responsible for the content of the postings. Please, be respectful of others' point of view and stick to the facts.