Human rights body says APP

EoF News / 10 March 2008

Pekanbaru (EoF News)—National human rights commission has found alleged human rights abuse committed by PT Arara Abadi, main pulpwood supplier for Asia Pulp & Paper in Riau, against communities in Riau as the body visited four villages in separate districts last week, media reports said.

The community has lost their convenience and rights to develop due to land disputes are not settled well, said a member of fact-finding team of human rights commission, Jhony Nelson Simanjuntak, on Thursday (6/3/2008), Kompas daily reported.

In an interview with Riau Terkini website last week (4/3), Simanjuntak said that the body visited some villages in Kampar, Siak and Bengkalis districts to collect data of the allegations.

The body responded to community’s complaints filed by their lawyers relating to long-standing land disputes between the villagers and APP’s PT Arara Abadi which developed pulpwood plantation (HTI concessions), Riau Terkini reported (6/3).

The commission has met with 50 villagers in Pekanbaru as witnesses and has planned to visit Batu Gajah, Kandis, Mandiangin and Beringin villages where human rights abuses reports filed by the community. In Pantai Cermin, the land dispute occurred involving the community and a military cooperatives unit.

“We targeted this matter would be accomplished in June,” said Simanjuntak in a press conference following a meeting with Riau Province Officials in Pekanbaru on Thursday (6/3).

“There is indication [of human rights abuses] indeed. For instance, there is community lose their secure feeling due to they are chased by 911, the hired company’s security firm. It still an indication, if the company latter can explain why they chase the villagers using 911 and releasing dogs to evict residents, it would be another matter,” Simanjuntak said.

The team would meet the company in Jakarta to give an opportunity to clarify the accusation and would discuss with the Minister of Forestry since these concessions related to licenses the ministry issued in 1996.

EoF learns that Sakai indigenous people has filed complaints to Riau Provincial Government, Riau Legislative Council and the Riau Police Office last year but there is no progress following the actions.


Land dispute involved APP subsidiary filed to local government, parliament