Netherlands offers compensation to children of executed Indonesians

THE Dutch government has offered compensation to the children of Indonesians who were executed by Dutch soldiers during the Indonesian war of independence between 1945 and 1950.

In a settlement meant to end lengthy court battles, the government promised 5,000 euros ($5,890) to everyone with a credible claim to their father’s execution during the conflict.

The war of independence started after the end of World War Two in 1945 and ended in December 1949, when the Netherlands recognised the independence of its former colony.

During the conflict, Dutch soldiers executed opponents without any form of trial and tortured prisoners during interrogations, a Dutch appeals court said last year.

The court at the time rejected claims by the Dutch state that the acts in its former colony had happened too long ago for it to be held responsible, citing the exceptional level of violence and the extent to which the Dutch state was culpable.

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The Netherlands had earlier offered compensation to widows of executed men, but had always refused to pay damages to their children.

A government spokesman said it was not clear how many people would ask for compensation under the new settlement. – Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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