Translation of a Press Release from a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations
On 16th July 2016 soldiers from the sub-district military command in Muting, Merauke Regency, came to look for Agustinus Dayo Mahuze, the chair of the Mahuze clan in Muting village, at his house. Their intention was to invite him to meet with the bosses of oil palm company PT Agriprima Cipta Persada (ACP) at the plantation site, and also to deliver a notice signed by the chair of the Kartika Setya Jaya co-operative, a military business linked to the District Military Comand 1707 in Merauke. The letter was dated 11th July 2016 and with reference number 8/16/VII/2016, and it gave notice of a permit of a work contract to clear land for oil palm in PT ACP’s concession..
The soldiers from the sub-district military command met Agustinus Dayo Mahuze away from his house, on the road towards Mbilanggo village, that afternoon, and stated the purpose of their visit. When the military officers told Agustinus Dayo about the plans between the co-operative and the company he felt threatened, afraid and anxious.
PT ACP’s has often involved the military and police in support of its business interests, and they have participated in activities related to obtaining the right to use land and in clearing land. This work has been accompanied by intimidation and threats of violence, generating nervousness and tension between the local community and the company, government and police and military personnel. Evidence for this are the letters the community repeatedly sent to the government, the police and military and the National Human Rights Commission between January and July 2015, to which they received no meaningful response.
Before that, the community had already made their feelings clear to the government and company by erecting notices around their ancestral land that read “the greater Mahuze clan’s land is not to be used for oil palm”. The community are also hoping to resolve the problem of a few members of the clan who have yet to repay money which had been given to a them as land compensation and which is being considered as proof of the transfer of land title, despite the fact that the clan members who accepted it did so without the general agreement of the whole greater Mahuze clan.
The involvement of the state security apparatus in providing security for PT ACP’s business interests, and even taking a direct role in the enterprise by clearing company land which is still disputed, and the way this creates a feeling amongst the community that they are not safe and facing injustice, represents a violation of the constitution and the law. The actions of these military personnel are also in contradiction to the military’s national commander to reform military institutions, including placing curbs on military businesses.
Because of this, we demand:
(1) The Coordinating Minister for Law and Human Rights, National Military Commander and Chief of Police should put a halt to military business, in which the military provides security for or expedites corporate business activities in ways which violate the law and do not support local communities;
(2) The National Military Commander and Police Chief should give harsh penalties to police or military personnel found to be involved in such businesses which lie outside their institutional remit and cause anxiety in local communities;
(3) The Agriculture Minister and Bupati of Merauke Regency should undertake a social and environmental audit, and a review of permits for work being carried out by oil palm company PT Agriprima Cipta Persada in Muting, Merauke.
We support reforms police and military institutions in such a way that they can provide protection and service for citizens, and we also hope that all parties will show respect for the rights of Papuan indigenous peoples.
Jakarta 22 July 2016
Coalition of Civil Society Organisations
PUSAKA, Yayasan Satu Keadilan, ELSAM, Konsorsium Pembaruan Agraria, SKP Keuskupan Merauke, SKP KC Fransiskan Jayapura, LBH Jakarta, Perkumpulan JUBI, debtwatch Indonesia, Epistema Institute, GRAIN International, Sekretariat Bina Desa, Koalisi Rakyat untuk Keadilan Perikanan, Indonesian Human Rights Committee for Social Justice, WALHI, Perkumpulan Bantuan Hukum Kalimantan, Institut Global Justice, Solidaritas Perempuan, SAMPAN Kalimantan, HUMA, JKMA Aceh, JERAT Papua, Yayasan Anak Dusun Papua, AURIGA, Institute Ecosoc, KONTRAS, Yayasan Lembaga Bantuan Hukum Indonesia, GARDA Papua, FIM Papua. Individual supporters: Rahma Mary, Idham Arsyad, Dede Shineba, Budi Hernawan, Teguh Surya.