26 February 2013
Minister of Forestry, Republic of Indonesia
Blok I Lantai 4 Jl. GatotSubroto – Senayan, Jakarta Pusat 10270
Telp. +6221 5731820 / +6221 5700278
Fax. +6221 5700226
H.E Mr. TimurPradopo
Head of Indionesian Police Force
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3 KebayoranBaru
Jakarta Selatan, 12110
Telp. +6221 7218001 / +6221 7260306
Fax. +6221 7207277
We, the undersigned national, regional, and international human rights organizations, write to convey our deep concern in reaction to the news stories of the arrest of 31 members of Pandumaan and Sipituhuta Indigenous Community, North Sumatera Province, Republic of Indonesia.
This incident is not a new case, but should be regarded as a part of ongoing land conflict affecting indigenous community in the region. The indigenous peoples of Pandumaan and Sipituhuta have been strongly opposing the existence of PT. TPL since 2009, fighting against the land grabbing activities of any actors on their territories.
We strongly believe that the rights of Indigenous Peoples must be protected and ensured by all actors and, in any case, act of violence must be prevented and prohibited in the efforts for the conflict resolution.
We urge the Minister of Forestry to revoke the concession of PT. Toba Pulp Lestari in Pandumaan and Sipituhuta Territories. Government of Indonesia shall take concrete action in addressing the land conflict in the region by effectively promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples.
Furthermore, we strongly urge the security authorities of HumbangHasundutan to immediately release 31 members of Pandumaan and Sipituhuta indigenous community who are unlawfully arrested. The security authorities must be clearly reminded of their task of preventing violence, and always prioritize peaceful ways in resolving this conflict.