ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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POLITICAL PRISONERS-Torture of Women Prisoners in Indonesia

FOLLOWING the abortive coup and counter-coup that brought General Suharto to power in Indonesia in October 1965, Gerwani (Indonesian Women's Movement) was among the large number of mass organisations which were banned together with the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) for alleged complicity in the abortive coup attempt Gerwani was, at that time, the largest women's organisation in Indonesia, with a membership of more than one million. It was not an organisation officially affiliated to the Communist Party, but described itself as 'an organisation of communist and non-communist women'. It was very much part of the militant Left-wing movement, that the military quashed as soon as the coup attempt had' been foiled. In fact, of all organisations, Gerwani was particularly viciously vilified in the anti-communist campaign that followed the coup and counter-coup. The sensational slanders to which it was subjected, without the slightest chance of rebuttal, were to play an important part in inciting the massacres that occurred in many parts of the country in the last three months of 1965, and on into 1966. To explain this

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