INDONESIA : The Gema Kreasi Perdana Company forcibly entered the land of the local community who refused mining in the Wanoii Island

An Open Letter from the Asian Human Rights Commission to the President of the Republic of Indonesia

Mr. Joko Widodo
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 3458 595
Fax: +62 21 3484 4759

Dear Mr. President:

INDONESIA : The Gema Kreasi Perdana Company forcibly entered the land of the local community who refused mining in the Wanoii Island

The Gema Kreasi Perdana Company called PT GKP, a subsidiary of the Harita Group, has again penetrated the land owned by residents who refuse to mine in Roko-Roko Raya in the Konawe Islands in Southeast Sulawesi. The land occupation used an excavator from the PT GKP. It has originally happened on land owned by La Dani, but because of resistance from the residents, PT GKP then turned towards the Tamo Siu-Siu River.

According to residents’ information, PT GKP plans to enter through the Tamo Siu-Siu River to the previously acquired land. However, the residents returned to ambush, because this River is one of the residents’ sources of water which has been used for consumption (drinking water, cooking, washing).

The continuing resistance from the residents made the Company re-target La Dani’s land, and then forcibly penetrate it. As a result, the fence that was built by the residents and the cashew plants were damaged. The occupation by PT GKP, which was closely guarded by the police and the army, is not the first time. PT GKP has been recorded to have repeatedly penetrated land, starting from Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at around 11.00 a.m. on land owned by Mrs. Marwah; on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at around 03.00 p.m. on land owned by Mr. Idris; and on Thursday, August 22, 2019, on land owned by Mr. Amin, Mrs. Wa Ana, and Mr. Labaa (late).

This has clearly reflected the partiality and alleged abuse of the authority of the State security apparatus to the PT GKP. We consider that the partisanship of the security forces which is full of human rights violations (abuse of power) has also seemed to agree with the mining activities on the Wawonii Island, which is included in the category of small islands. In fact, the mining Company’s permit is still in the testing phase at the Ombudsman. In addition, mining activities in the area of small islands are strictly prohibited.

This is in accordance with the provisions in Article 35 Letter K of Law Number 27 of 2007 concerning the Management of Coastal Areas and Small Islands (WP3K) which reads “In the utilization of the WP3K, everyone is directly or indirectly prohibited from mining minerals in areas that if technically and/or ecologically and/or socially and/or culturally causes environmental damage and/or environmental pollution and/or harms the surrounding community.”

Ironically, reports from residents namely Mr. Idris regarding the invasion of land by PT GKP to the Kendari Police on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, have not been followed up until the fourth accupation occurred. Meanwhile, La Dani, a resident of the land that was infiltrated by PT GKP today, is one of the residents who opposed the entry of mining on the Wawonii Island. Mr. La Dani, along with other residents who rejected mining on behalf of Hastoma and Hurlan, were arrested by the police on Monday (24/01/2022).

The three residents who were arrested are among the 28 residents who were reported to the police on August 23, 2019 by the Company. The accusations against the three of them at that time were related to the alleged crime of the deprivation of liberty, as stated in Article 333 of the Criminal Code. Until now, the three Wawonii residents are still being held and following the legal process at the Kendari Police.

Thus, repeated breaches that caused the people’s productive crops to be destroyed while some other residents actually experienced intimidation, violence, criminalization and imprisonment, shows the attitude and positioning of the police officers who tend to serve the interests of mining corporations rather than the people.

Therefore, based upon the above mentioned facts, we urge:

1. The Southeast Sulawesi Police Chief and Kendari Police Chief to immediately withdraw all police officers from the location.

2. The National Police Chief to take firm action against the Head of the Southeast Sulawesi Police and the Kendari Police Chief who allowed his troops to escort the PT GKP in invading the residents’ land.

3. The Commander of the Military Command (Pangdam) XIV/Hasanuddin to take maximum action and punish its military personnel who are suspected of being involved and abusing their authority in guarding the intrusion into the residents’ land by PT GKP.

4. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM), the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) and the Indonesian National Commission for Child Protection (KPAI) to immediately investigate allegations of crimes against humanity committed by the PT GKP and the police in Southeast Sulawesi.

5. The Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources to immediately stop the activities of PT GKP, evaluate immediately, and revoke the IUP that has been issued.

Yours Sincerely,

Basil Fernando
Director of Policy Program, Asian Human Rights Commission
Hong Kong