Last week we again witnessed the shameful way in which the Dutch government deals with relatives of the many Indonesian victims of Dutch war crimes committed during the so-called decolonization war. Two children – now 76 and 82 years old – of men who were murdered by Dutch soldiers in 1947, came to the Netherlands to tell their story.

On Wednesday, Andi Monji and Talle (in Indonesia many people have only one name) visited the Foreign Affairs Committee where SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut received them. Only two other members of the committee showed up: Bram van Ojik (GL) and Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (D66).

No one was present from the other government parties VVD, CDA and ChristenUnie. There were also no meetings with Mark Rutte, Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok or other representatives of Foreign Affairs. After that embarrassing screening at the Binnenhof, a session of the Hague court followed on Thursday – the reason why the very old Monji and Talle had traveled all the way to the Netherlands.

In 2015, the court ruled that Monji, Talle and other children of Indonesian men who were murdered by Dutch soldiers are entitled to compensation. Because of the seriousness of the events, the usual limitation period does not apply, according to the court. The Dutch State, however, appealed and now claims that the cases are barred, the children are simply too late.

“Too late.” Let that affect you. Monji was eleven years old when he had to watch as his father, sitting in the grass with his hands in his neck, was executed on the spot. A Dutch soldier shot him in the head.

Talle saw as a toddler how her house was set on fire and her father was taken by Dutch soldiers. Not much later, her father’s lifeless body was brought back to the village.

They are both traumatized by the murder of their father. Grew up in difficult circumstances because the breadwinner disappeared from their family. Are signed for life.

The murderers of their fathers have never been prosecuted. And now the Dutch state wants to deprive these survivors of the compensation of 20 thousand euros to which they are entitled according to the court. Because they are late. As if this is an unjustified traffic fine for which the appeal period has expired.

The Dutch state seems to want to prevent other children of Indonesian victims of Dutch war crimes from reporting for compensation. Where compassion and repentance fit, the state shamelessly goes for self-interest. For cold business instead of justice and taking responsibility.

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