Indonesia: five farmers criminalisedEvent
- Initial Date
- Nov 2, 2022
- Event Description
Thursday (3/11), there was another attempt to silence the people who were defending their land. Wednesday (2/11), 5 farmers from Bunga Raya District, Siak Regency were examined as witnesses for alleged joint criminal acts of violence and threats when rejecting the activities of PT. TKWL on September 29, 2022 based on Police Report No. LP/B/461/IX/2022/SPKT/RIAU dated 30 September 2022.
Last September 29, dozens of farming communities rejected the activities of PT. TKWL on the land they manage because a few weeks earlier, PT TKWL informed residents that the heavy equipment to be operated would only function to repair roads. However, in reality, the heavy equipment entered the land and made excavations on the people's land.
The summons as a witness is a form of criminalization effort to stop people who are members of farmer groups from stopping to manage their own land. Previously, Anton et al were questioned at the Riau Police regarding alleged criminal acts on plantations on complaints from PT. Teguh Karsa Wanalestari No. 008/TKWL/EXT/VIII/2022 dated 25 August 2022 (https://www.lbhpekanbaru.or.id/menagih-jan-reforma-agraria-di-areal-kerja-pt-tkwl/).
“The criminalization patterns of Bunga Raya farmers are very real and this effort also scares farmers who in the end they are evicted from their own land. For this reason, stop scaring farmers, stop all efforts to criminalize in resolving agrarian conflicts because criminal law is actually not a place for resolving agrarian conflicts," said Noval Setiawan, public lawyer for LBH Pekanbaru.
Apart from that, Noval also explained that the criminalization efforts carried out by PT TKWL were a denial of human rights as regulated in Article 28 G of the 1945 Constitution which reads, "Everyone has the right to protection of himself/herself, family, honor, dignity, and property owned by under his authority, and is entitled to a sense of security and protection from threats of fear to do or not do something which is a human right.”
"This effort adds to a series of bad things that have injured the farmers' struggle with patterns of criminalization and silencing," said Noval.
In line with that, the Director of LBH Pekanbaru, Andi Wijaya, stated that Anton and other friends, are local people who have lived for a long time and have a livelihood that came from the transmigration program in the 90s. resolve the issue of agrarian conflicts and accelerate the process of agrarian reform for transmigration communities in Siak district.
"On January 20, 2022, Anton et al who are members of the Marhaen Ideal Farmers Association have written to the President and related ministries including the ATR/BPN ministry to grant their rights which have been mandated in the 1945 Constitution and fulfill the president's commitment to agrarian reform," explained Andi Wijaya.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Other (e.g. undefined, organisation, community)
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Land rights
- Freedom of expression
- Right to Protest
- Community-based HRD
- Land rights defender
- Agricultural business
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 2 November 2022, five farmers and community-based defenders were summoned for interrogation based on a police report stemming from the claim of agribusiness company PT. TKWL that alleged the five committed criminal acts when opposing the company activities in Siak Regency, Indonesia.