Archipelago

Saurip asked to apologize
for Mesuji killing videos

Local leaders in Lampung are demanding that Gen. (ret.) Saurip Kadi apologize for spreading a video reportedly depicting killings in Mesuji.

“The apology must be broadcast through the mass media, otherwise we will file charges,” Lampung People's Communications Forum (Fokmal) chief Sutan Syahrir Oelangan said on Monday night, as quoted by tempo.co.

He said that Saurip’s presentation of the videos of killings in Mesuji, whose veracity has since been called into question by media and the police, had badly affected investment and tourism in the city.

“Investors have become restless. A number of plantation investors have cancelled plans to invest in Lampung because our region is considered unsafe,” he said.

A Fokmal meeting attended by about 100 leaders from several communities and ethnic groups criticized Saurip’s conduct in the dispute.

“We have forgiven him, but not in terms of the law. Saurip and his men have caused trouble for residents,” Sutan said.

Saurip, who recently led a delegation of witnesses to the killings to the House of Representatives, showed lawmakers a purported video of the killings in the area.

He claimed that 32 people had been killed in the area since 2008 in a dispute between Mesuji villagers and a palm oil company – numbers that the police claimed were exaggerated.

The police also said that the video was edited and distorted the truth about the incident. (awd)

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