Human rights

July / November 2000

This is the short version of a paper prepared by Nostromo Research for Down to Earth and Minewatch Asia-Pacific, July 2000, revised November 2000.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

On 25 August 2000, police shot indiscriminately into a crowd of people gathered outside the factory gates of oil palm company PT Permata Hijau Sawit (PT PHS) in Mananti village, Sosa sub-district, South Tapanuli, killing eighteen year old Febriadi Nasution. Thirty-three people were later arrested, 15 of whom are currently standing trial, charged with various criminal damage offences.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

Twenty three people were injured when police moved in to break up a protest blockade at Unocal's oil and gas terminal in East Kalimantan.

Seven protesters were injured by bullet wounds and a further sixteen were seriously injured when beaten and kicked by police, who broke up the protest on October 8th.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

A series of official investigations into Freeport Indonesia, operators of the huge Grasberg gold and copper mine in West Papua, has done nothing as yet to curb the excessive environmental damage caused by the company.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000

Indonesian and foreign companies continue to profit from West Papua's resources as the military resumes its tough line with the independence movement.

Signs of a new get-tough policy in West Papua were confirmed when an estimated 3,700 additional troops were dispatched to the territory in early August. These included 1,700 troops from the mobile brigade police force, notorious for its brutal suppression of dissent. Most troops have been sent to Jayapura, Merauke and Timika regions.

Down to Earth No. 47, November 2000


There has been further conflict at indigenous mining lands inside the PT Indo Muro Kencana gold concession operated by Australia's Aurora Gold in Central Kalimantan.

Families from the local Dayak Siang, Murung and Bekumpai communities were hauled out of their beds and forced onto trucks by heavily armed mobile brigade police forces early on June 7th. Their possessions were thrown on the ground, their homes were then torn down and fifteen people were arrested.

Down to Earth No. 46, August 2000

Another major obstacle to the sustainable management of natural resources is the continuing prominence of the military in many regions. Its continued high profile role from province to village level means that it is a potent threat to the success of regional autonomy, where 'success' means managing local resources sustainably, sharing benefits equitably and respecting human rights.