Indonesia: indigenous rights defender found guilty (Update)Event
- Initial Date
- Sep 8, 2022
- Event Description
The Panel of Judges at the Pasangkayu District Court, West Sulawesi sentenced Dedi (30) to a Kabuyu resident who was reported by the palm oil plantation company PT Mamuang, a subsidiary of the Astra Group. Previously, Dedi was arrested along with four other farmers after receiving a second summons from the Pasangkayu Sector Police for a case of alleged criminal acts of threats as referred to in Article 335 paragraph (1) of the 1st Criminal Code.
Tenure conflicts between the Kabuyu people and PT Mamuang have been going on for a long time, starting from 2003 until now the Kabuyu people continue to struggle to maintain their managed areas which were seized and evicted unilaterally by the company. Since the entry of PT Mamuang in their area in 1991, the lives and social institutions of the Kabuyu community have undergone very significant changes. However, with the presence of PT Mamuang, they are only allowed to manage a narrow area on the banks of the Pasangkayu river.
Legal Advisor for the Kabuyu Community Alliance, Putri said that "From a legal perspective, Dedi's actions are considered to meet the elements of a criminal act of threats, but the police should not have continued to take a criminal approach to cases of tenure conflict like this, Dedi and residents Kabuyu is still the “victim” of criminalization from the palm oil corporation. So the verdict handed down will not shift the spirit of the community's struggle, and we as legal advisors will continue to be committed to assisting the rights of the interests of the people who are oppressed due to the bad practice of oil palm expansion," concluded Putri.
The conviction of Dedi, a Kabuyu resident, adds to the series of crimes against farmers by Astra Group companies in the oil palm plantation sector in Central Sulawesi and West Sulawesi. This prolonged conflict is very crony and there is no point of settlement, it always ends with a criminal approach to farmers. It is ironic when the people's production space that they have defended is considered a criminal act by the company and the police.
Astra Group, through its subsidiaries, is not the first time to practice bad practices in running its business, in the same company PT Mamuang has also criminalized Hemsi, a farmer from Lalundu, Rio Pakava District, who has also been in conflict with the company since 2006 until now, Hemsi, who owns His land rights were forced to go through a long struggle, as Hemsi had been imprisoned three times on charges of stealing by PT Mamuang. However, this did not become an obstacle or weaken Hemsi with other farmers in the struggle.
Astra Group has committed human rights crimes and confiscated people's management areas, not only in West Sulawesi but also bad practices in Central Sulawesi, such as its subsidiary, PT Agro Nusa Abadi, which for 16 years operated in the North Morowali Regency, did not have a Cultivation Right (Hak Guna Usaha) permit. HGU).
As experienced by a farmer from Bunta, East Petasia District, North Morowali Regency who was also convicted by Astra Agro Lestari's subsidiary, PT Agro Nusa Abadi, the two farmers, Gusman and his younger brother Sudirman, were also accused of stealing by the company. Gusman was sentenced to 2 years in prison and Sudi was sentenced to 6 months in prison. Even though it is known that PT Agro Nusa Abadi has been operating for 16 years without having a Cultivation Right (HGU), where this company only has a Location Permit granted by the North Morowali Regency Government. PT ANA has annexed an area of 19,675 ha of the allocated land, which includes 5000 ha of farmers' land.
For this, the Central Sulawesi Walhi through its campaigner Aulia Hakim emphasized "The bad practice carried out by the palm oil company Astra Agro Lestari in Central Sulawesi and West Sulawesi is a crime that is treated by the state continuously, and is very detrimental to the community, the state through all of its policies is then ridden by corporate interests. carry out massive impoverishment, especially the palm oil ring in Central Sulawesi and West Sulawesi, the people's management areas that they have guarded and have become the economic support are deposed under the pretext of state policy only for the sake of corporate interests, this must not continue to happen, Astra must immediately stop its activities that are detrimental to the community and the government must dare to take firm action against the crimes committed by Astra, "said Aulia.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Right to liberty and security
- Indigenous peoples' rights defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 8 September 2022, Didi, indigenous rights defender, was found guilty of threats charges, based on a complaint filed by a palm oil company in relation to a land dispute, by the District Court in Pasangkayu, Indonesia.