Chandra Iswinarno – Repressive acts have again been committed by police, this time it targeted the residents of the Kalasey Dua Village in Minahasa, North Sulawesi, on Monday November 7. The incident was also marred by violent arrests, the firing of teargas and verbal abuse against residents.
The incident was reported to the Manado Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) who said that 46 people were arrested including farmers, an LBH public defender and students.
LBH Manado Director Frank Tyson Kahiking said that the repressive behaviour by the police and local public order agency officials (Satpol PP) was related to an eviction carried out by the North Sulawesi provincial government (Pemprov) on land worked by Kalasey Dua Village farmers.
"At 10 am local time police and Satpol PP forced their way onto the farmers land to carry out the eviction. The farmers who objected to their presence blockaded the road, but the police still forced [their way in] with acts of repression against the protesters so there were several who suffered injuries to the neck and left hand", said Kahiking when contacted by Suara.com on Monday November 7.
Then at 3.10 local time, a total of 14 people were arbitrarily arrested and taken to the Manado municipal police. Then it was reported that more residents had been arrested. It is estimated that a total of more than 46 people have been taken to the Manado municipal police.
"So right now there are still several residents and students who are being hunted down and arrested by the police and Satpol PP in a repressive way using violence, even the Kalasey Dua Village coordination post was smashed up so several students and farmers had to flee into the forests to save themselves", said Kahiking.
LBH Manado says that the eviction carried out by the North Sulawesi government, in this case the North Sulawesi governor failed to follow the legal process.
"That the land is still in the process of an appeal with the Supreme Court and there hasn't even been a legal ruling on the execution", said Kahiking.
"But the North Sulawesi Pemprov used fully armed security personnel to force their way in [to the village] and on several occasions fired teargas at the protesters. There was even one police officer who was recorded spouting abuses at the farmers", he added.
Based on this, the LBH Manado along with the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) are calling for an end to the forced evictions at the Kalasey Dua Village, the withdrawal of police, an end to the intimidation of farmers, students and legal defenders, and the release of the farmers, students and LBH Manado public defender arrested and taken to the Manado municipal police.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Gusur Lahan Petani di Minahasa, Polisi Lakukan Tindakan Represif Terhadap Warga".]