The Ministry of Defense has stated that the Netherlands will pay damages to an Indonesian woman who was the victim of a gang-rape by five Dutch soldiers during the purging of the Javanese village Peniwen in 1949. This even though last week, the Dutch State appealed the verdict of the district court of The Hague in which it was ordered to pay those damages to the victim.

By paying the damages in spite of the pending appeal, the State now acknowledges the facts of the case. As such, the appeals case will only revolve around the legal/technical question of whether the court was right to dismiss the State’s argument that the victim’s claim was time-barred, as the district court of The Hague has also done in other cases concerning war crimes committed by the Dutch army in the former Dutch East-Indies. In essence therefore, the question at issue for the State is which war crimes should (still) be compensated and which should not (anymore).

The victim is represented by lawyers Liesbeth Zegveld and Brechtje Vossenberg.

See also (in Dutch)


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