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Jakarta Post

Human rights body finds rights abuse in Riau land dispute

  • Rizal Harahap

    The Jakarta Post

Pekanbaru   /   Sat, March 8 2008   /  12:11 pm

The National Commission of Human Rights has found human rights abuses in the prolonged land dispute between the Sakai tribe and forestry company PT Arara Abadi in Riau, Sumatra. Chairman of the commission's fact-finding team, Jhony Simanjuntak, said the Sakai people had lost their right to live peacefully and safely because of the company's continual intimidation. He said the company deployed security personnel and trained dogs to drive away farmers working on the disputed land and to intimidate children traveling to and from school. The team, which visited the land early this week, found dual ownership of certain enclaves had triggered the dispute. The Sakai people have lived in the 10 villages and have farmed the surrounding areas in Bengkalis and Siak since 1830. They were granted official ownership of the land in 1940 by the Sultan of Siak. PT Arara Abad...