The Truths of Torture: Victims’ Memories and State Histories in Indonesia
This essay discusses the mass arrests and the torture of Indonesian political prisoners conducted by the Suharto regime from 1965 through 1969; the analysis is based on interviews with prisoners and state records of their “confessions.” Roosa discusses why the interrogators appeared to find torture useful for gathering information, despite evidence to the contrary. He argues that the “confessions” extracted from the prisoners helped the regime construct a picture of Indonesia as a nation swarming with subversive communist enemies, thereby justifying its fierce suppression of the insurgency it had imagined.
Volume & Issue:
Page range: 31-50
Cornell University Southeast Asia Program