Stop the criminalization of Indonesian Peasants, says APC

PRESS RELEASE
10th February 2013
For alleged violation of Articles 160 and 170 of the Criminal Code
Serve The People
Quezon City, Philippines — The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) is calling the Indonesian government to stop the criminalization of members of the Aliansi Gerakan Reforma Agraria or Alliance of Agrarian Reform Movement (AGRA) who have been charged of violating Articles 160 and 170 of the Criminal Code.
“It can be recalled that in December 2011, the APC raised concerns on the harassment and intimidation experienced by the Pangalengan farmers perpetrated by the PDAP (Provincial Government Company on Agribusiness and Mining)-Pangalengan and the Regency Bandung Police,” stated Rahmat Ajiguna, APC deputy secretary general.
“We believe that the land conflict started when the PDAP came and intensifying landgrabbing in Pangalengan. The PDAP is said to be allowing local landlord and rich farmers to rent their so-called ‘lands’ because they cannot cultivate it. However, this practice is not allowed by the law. Ancestors of Pangalengan peasant has been tilling the land, called Sampalan, before the Dutch established its power in 1602,” remarked Ajiguna, also the secretary general of AGRA
.
“Before the Dutch came into power, Pangalengan people were happily living and cultivating their lands. However, when the Dutch came the Pangalengan people became tenants. When Indonesia proclaimed its liberty the Pangalengan people were able to cultivate their land again. But when DI/TII movement (an Islamic army movement that wants to change Indonesia to become a Moslem country) took place coupled with militarization, Pangalengan people evacuated to another place where they could live safely. After two years, the DI/TII problem was resolved but the Pangalegan people couldn’t came back to their land because the military is claiming their land. Worst, a land title was executed by the government and now the land is being managed by PDAP and local landlord. Then again, Pangalengan people became tenants,” explained Ajiguna.
“In 2004, Pangalengan peasants succeeded in re-claiming 134 hectares of land in Sampalan. They continue cultivating the land, under the banner of AGRA, and planted it with vegetables. Since then, the PDAP, police and the military started intimidation, harassment and violated human rights of the Pangalengan peasants,” shared Zen Soriano, APC Southeast Asia Coordinator.
“In October and November 2011, there are several attempts by the PDAP together with the LPM RI, Pangalengan District Police, Military Headquarters at Ward Level of Pangalengan, Regency Bandung Police to put a boundary pole in Sampalan land that is being cultivated by the farmers. However, AGRA farmers defended their lands and clashed with the PDAP supporters including the Pangalengan police and military,” added Soriano, also the President of Philippine-based AMIHAN (National Federation of Peasant Women).
“We support the struggle of the Pangalengan people. We demand to stop the harassment and intimidation against the leaders and members of AGRA- Pangalengan. We appeal on the court to decide in favor of the Pangalengan farmers who are only defending their rights to land.  The Pangalegan people are the legitimate owners of the land. Their ancestors have been tilling the land before the Dutch came,” stressed Ajiguna.
“We demand for the removal of the names of Momo and Yana, who are father and son, as suspects in Articles 160 and 170 of the Criminal Code. Finally, we urge the Indonesian government to implement genuine land reform, “ended Ajiguna and Soriano. #


APC Secretariat
2nd Floor, 217-B Alley 1, Road 7
Project 6, Quezon City, Philippines 1100
Phone: +632-3793083
E-mail: apcsecretariat@asianpeasant.org
Skype: apc.secretariat
Web: www.asianpeasant.org

salam,
kawan-kawan, ini adalah surat dari Asian Peasant Coalition mengenai kasus kriminalisasi kaum tani di Pangalengan, Jabar, Indonesia (Momo dan Yana) yang saat ini sedang mengalami persidangan di pengadilan Bale Bandung. Mohon dukungan dengan menyebarkan pesan ini. Terima kasih.

 

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