Jambi Farmers Union's Protest against Detention of its Leader
Monday, 30 April, 2012 | 22:02 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The National Farmers' Union (STN) in Jambi has demanded Jambi police to free the union’s leader, Marwadi, who is also Head of Children of Indigenous Tribes (SAD) Bathin Bahar Group 113. Marwadi had been detained for allegedly inciting the union's actions against PT Asiatik Persada's (AP) land occupation in Batanghari, sometime ago.
"PT AP is proven to have caused displacement of SAD 113, and the case is being handled by Jambi provisional government and the National Land Agency through its deputy,” explained STN Jambi's public relations coordinator Joko last Saturday. STN also asked the police to stop criminalizing farmers and activists striving for the public's interest and their constitutional rights. They also urged the government to urgently resolve agrarian conflicts in Indonesia, including the SAD 113 case with PT AP, a subsidiary of Wilmar Group.
Mawardi's arrest, conducted without a warrant, took place on Friday, April 27, 2012, around 01.15 am when he, who is also the chairman of People's Democratic Party Jambi, returned from Tanah Menang village or the village of SAD 113 located within the PT AP's HUG (Land Utilization Entitlement).
The conflict between SAD 113 and PT AP had been long existent and currently the former is still occupying around 241 hectare land in the middle of PT AP's HGU which contain rubber trees and SAD's settlement area. Meanwhile SAD's other farmlands in three villages of around 3,614 hectares were already evicted by PT AP. In early 2011, SAD 113 declared its objection against the intervention of Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) – a World Bank institution – in the case. CAO intervened because World Bank gives loan to Wilmar Group's via International Finance Corporation (IFC). ****
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