Mr. Irawan, the spokesman, said that Mr. Prabowo recognized the United States' "critical role in maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region" and that the trip was aimed at "exploring how our two militaries can work together in the future to ensure our mutual interests are protected."
"America is an important country," Mr. Prabowo said before his departure. "I am invited. I have to fulfill the invitation."
The human rights groups questioned whether the visa gave Mr. Prabowo immunity in the United States and, if so, urged that it be rescinded. If he did not receive immunity, they said, the United States would be obligated to investigate whether he was criminally responsible for torture and possibly bring him to trial or extradite him.
"We urge you to clarify that the visa issued to Prabowo Subianto does not extend any form of immunity to him, and to ensure that if he does travel to the U.S., he is properly and promptly investigated, and if there is sufficient evidence, brought to trial for his alleged responsibility for crimes under international law," the groups said in their letter to Mr. Pompeo.
The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence, an Indonesian rights organization,expressed its disappointment with the decision to allow Mr. Prabowo's visit and said it would hinder continuing efforts to secure justice for the victims of human rights abuses.
"This legitimization by the United States government helps the Indonesian government, and especially Prabowo himself, avoid resolution of past cases of gross human rights violations that involve his name," said the group's chairwoman, Fatia Maulidiyanti.