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KPA highlights rampant official repression in 2023 agrarian conflicts

Tempo - January 16, 2024

Riri Rahayu, Jakarta – Secretary General of the Agrarian Reform Consortium (KPA) Dewi Kartika reported rampant cases of violence, intimidation, and arrests of agrarian defenders in agrarian conflicts throughout 2023. According to the data, there were 508 people arrested, comprising 490 males and 18 females.

"They were arrested for fighting for rights to land and customary territories," Dewi said at the launch of the 2023 KPA Agrarian Annual Report which was broadcast on the KPA's YouTube channel, on Monday, January 15.

The KPA also recorded 91 cases of abuse, with the number of victims reaching 79 males and 12 females. "This means that there is still an approach using physical violence," Dewi said.

The repressive actions involved members of the National Police, the Indonesian Military (TNI), and private security guards, and resulted in six shooting victims. Therefore, she believed that the government did not prioritize a constructive and inclusive dialogue process.

"From 2021 to 2023, the National Police are the main cause of victims of violence in agrarian conflict areas," Dewi stressed. "This is a big homework for the National Police, which needs to be reformed in the future."

The KPA noted 241 agrarian conflicts throughout 2023, which affected 638,000 hectares of land and 135,000 heads of families (KK).

Most of the agrarian conflicts were related to the plantation and agribusiness sectors, followed by cases related to property, mining, infrastructure, forestry, coastal and small islands, and the construction of military facilities.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1821776/kpa-highlights-rampant-official-repression-in-2023-agrarian-conflict