URGENT ACTION [APP-linked guards brutal murder] by WALHI National Executive

March 4, 2015

JAMBI-INDONESIA: A farmer and environmental defenders activist murdered by Security Force of PT. WKS (Wirakarya Sakti), a subsidiary of APP (Asia Pulp and Paper – Sinar Mas Group).


Dear All,

Indonesian Forum for Environment (WALHI) – Friends of the Earth Indonesia hereby inform you that an activist of Tebo Farmers Union (SPT) in Jambi province, Indonesia, named Indra Pelani (male, 22 years-old) has been inhumanely persecuted and murdered by the security force of PT. WKS (Wirakarya Sakti), a subsidiary of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), on February 27, 2015.
This deliberate action is a violation of the right to life and threatens the existence of the rights of environmental defenders. Currently Jambi Regional Police are working on the case that involves the Rapid Response Unit of the company’s security forces.
For further information, please visit http://www.walhi.or.id/

Background Information 

A.    PT. Wirakarya Sakti (APP Group) 
PT Wirakarya Sakti (WKS) is an enterprise that was established based on the notary official document Mr. Hasan Qolbi, a notary representative in Padang, on October 11, 1975. The latest revision of notary official document was based on act No. 7 on January 28, 2004 with notary Ms. Yulia, SH.
WKS is an industrial plantation forest concession holder company for supplying pulp and paper manufacturers (PT Lonthar papyrus pulp and paper industries) located in Jambi Province. WKS got the first plantation permit for planting trial (IPP-1) for 1000 ha, based on a letter from the Head of Regional Forestry Office (Kantor Wilayah Kehutanan) of Jambi Province No. 165/HTI/Wilhut/Iva/1989 year 1989. In 1996, the company got its first definitive concession area by the Ministry of Forestry decree No. 744/Kpts-II/1996 dated November 25, 1996 for 78,240 ha. In 2001, WKS’ concession area was expanded to 191,130 ha in accordance with the Ministry of Forestry Decree No. 64/Kpts-II/2001 (Add. I). Then, getting concession area definitive addendum II accordance with Ministry of forestry decree No. 228/Menhut-II/2004 (add. II) dated July 9, 2004, with area of 233,51 ha and addendum definitive decree III by Ministry of Forestry decree No. 346/Menhut-II/2004 (add. III) dated November 10, 2004, with area Total of 293,812 ha.
WKS is one of the companies under Sinarmas Group Forestry Division which supplies raw material (fiber wood) for pulp and paper producers PT Lontar Papyrus Pulp and Paper Industries, which is also located in Jambi and under the Sinarmas Group.
Working Area
Geographically, WKS’ concession area is located in Jambi Province between 0°45’00’’ – 01°36’00’’ South Latitude and 102°46’00’’ – 1-3°4’00’ Longitude East. The are is divided into the following five Districts:

  • Tanjung Jabung Barat District, including Sub districts of Tungkal Ulu, Betara, Merlung, and Pengabuan.

  • Tanjung Jabung Timur, including Sub Districts of Mendahara, Dendang, and Rantau Rasau.

  • Batanghari District, including Sub Districts of Pemayung, Mersam, Morosebo Ilir, and Morosebo Ulu.

  • Muaro Jambi District, including Sub Districts of Morosebo, Kumpeh and Sakernan.

  • Tebo District including Sub Districts of Tengah Ilir and Tebo Ulir

B.     The social and cultural conditions of communities surrounding WKS concession

Land owned by PT Wirakarya Sakti (WKS) for the development of the land area of ​​industrial timber estates (HTI) in a number of areas in the province of Jambi, such as in the Regency of Tanjung Jabung Barat, Regency of Tanjung Jabung Timur, Regency of Batanghari, Regency of Muaro Jambi, and Tebo Regency, Sarolangun Regency, Bungo Regency, apparently must be reorganized so that the issue of land conflict between society and PT. WKS not more pointed. Land conflict with PT. WKS became a problem faced by local governments (LGs) in seven districts in the province of Jambi. For example, in Tebo, land conflicts between residents in the village of Lubuk Mandarsah, District of Central Ilir. PT Wirakarya Sakti in Jambi have made people suffer, especially among rural farmers in five districts in the region where the company is opening a business of industrial timber plantation since 1993 ago.
Earlier, in 2009, villagers Senyerang incorporated in Serikat Petani Jambi (SPJ)/The Union of Farmers of Jambi, demanding that their land must be returned by WKS. The villagers of Senyerang protest to the government and PT. WKS and stated that they do not want their land taken over by WKS. Protests continue to emerge and the occupation of land by the public in 2010 led to beatings and shootings by police and security personnel of the company. November 8th, 2010, the community blockaded Pengabuan River. Ahmad Adam, a resident of the village Senyerang, was shot dead by Brimob personnel in this blockade.
In recent years, there was indeed a protracted social conflict that occurred in Jambi, between PT. Wira Karya Sakti and local communities in Jambi. This conflict since 2002 and is the result of complex issues in terms of land use, as determined by the Ministry of Forestry, and land use as claimed by the community.
C.     Chronological of beatings, beatings with murder of a farmer in Lubuk Mandarsah Village Tebo District, Jambi.
On Friday, February 27, 2015, members of farmer groups Sekato Jaya together with the companion is not allowed to pass by security (Zulkifli) and Unit Reaksi Cepat/URC (Quick Response Unit) of PT. Wirakarya Sakti (APP Group) which manning at the post Kembar 803 on the grounds must have permission from the company. At that time, there was also Chairman of Farmers Group Sekato Jaya (M.Jais) and Dodi who came to the security post to obtain a warrant from the company that the public is not allowed passing the security post. The securities forces cannot show the letter and still do not want to open the portal. Finally, the security conveys or suggest, if you want to enter, open the portal by yourself. Chairman of the farmer groups Sekato Jaya open the portal, so the car Mitsubishi L300 pick-up takes cookware and groceries for Thanksgiving/harvest prayer can enter the area.
At 14.00 pm, Indra (the victim) picked Nick Karim (WALHI Jambi) by using a motorcycle GL-Pro in Simpang Niam. Nick Karim had just come from the city of Jambi. At about 16:03 pm, Indra with Nick Karim arrived in the post Kembar and halted by 2 (two) person of URC PT. Wirakarya Sakti. They asked Indra and Nick Karim “Where do you wanna go”?, Nick Karim replied, “going inside.” Then URC snapped Indra by saying “You’re a very arrogant”, then Indra replied, “What’s up brother?”, the URC directly hit Indra of the back followed by five (5) persons of URC colleagues.
Nick Karim tried to intervene but the efforts were unsuccessful because of the amount of the URC too much. Nick Karim asked for the security at the post to help stop the beating, but not addressed. Later, Nick Karim pulled by a man who was near the post. The man told to Nick Karim to escape and seek help in Lubuk Mandrasah village. Nick Karim arrived in the Pelayang Tebat at around 16:28 pm, and asks for help to the community. He said that URC PT. Wirakarya Sakti beat Indra.
By hearing the news, about 30 people go directly to the location of Post Kembar at around 16:30 pm. When people arrived in the security post, Indra has not been in that place. Communities directly asked a security (Zulkifli) in the post “Is it true that Indra was attacked and taken to districk 8?”. He replied, “I do not know, please just ask the members of the URC”. URC teams that are in addition to the post of security have been furnished with a machete and knife. The people asked again “Where is Indra?”, URC personnel replied “I do not know. Nothing happen here”. Finally, the people asked back to Zulkifli. He replied that Indra has been brought to the 8th district using URC patrol cars branded Ford. The community directly expel the security and URC from the post. Communities find weapons such as machetes and a team of on-site security and URC post prepared knives. After that, the people dispersed and returned to their land.
17.00 pm, Abdullah and Dodi (WALHI Jambi) are called Rudi (WALHI Jambi) who was on his way to Lubuk Mandarsah to immediately contact to the company. Rudi contacted the company to release Indra and should be responsible about the incident.
Around 19.00 pm, the community came to the camp that is near the lands of community. When arriving at the camp, community meets members and heads of URC (Kemas Afrizal) to ask the position of Indra. The head of URC stated that he don’t know about the incident, and stated that they remain in the camp (stand by). Without suspicion, the people returned to the post of farmer groups Sekato Jaya to discussions and dinner. Then, the people returned to the camp, but none of the URC members who were in the camp. Communities remain at the location while waiting for news about the position of Indra (the victim).
Rudi (WALHI Jambi) always communicate to the company to ensure the existence of Indra. The Leaders of PT. Wirakarya Sakti contacted (Slamet irianto, Kurniawan, and other leaders) answered (20.00 pm) that the team while trying to find Indra and don’t yet know the position of the URC personnel who was carrying Indra. Akiet (Head of Security PT.WKS) who met Rudi (WALHI Jambi) in the post Kembar at 21.30 pm also don’t know where the position of the victim and the URC position that brought Indra. We are still in the search process. Communication continues to be done to the company until the morning.
Around 22.00 pm, Nick Karim arrived at the location of community lands and told the chronology of the incident. At that time, the Intelligent of Police Tebo (Polres Tebo) came to inquire about the incident. Nick Karim told to the police.
Around 01.00 pm, February 28th, 2015, The Vice of Police Resort Tebo (Wakapolres Tebo), the chief of police Tebo Ilir, the chief of police Central Ilir, The chief unit of Reserse Polres Tebo came to the community to discuss about the incident. The arrival of the police is to ensure that the police has dealt with this incident legally. They asked people to be calm and patient, and also asked Nick Karim to come to the police station to make a report. The process of reporting was conducted in the office of Police Central Ilir.
February 28th, 2015, around 09.00 pm, the head of security (Akiet) PT. Wirakarya Sakti called Rudi and reported that “Indra was found dead about 7 km from the camp of District 8 and now in the process of evacuation of the police.” Rudi called the chief Reserse Police Tebo to ensure that news. He answered, “already found the victim with characteristics: curly hair, wearing shorts with state bruises throughout the body, the incision throughout the body, puncture marks a sharp object and blunt object, and the mouth is closed using the clothes, hands and feet tied. Now, the bodies were taken to the hospital of Tebo to do post mortem and autopsy.” Rudi directly to the hospital to make sure the victims were found. When he arrived at the hospital, Rudi immediately saw the victim, and the victim was Indra.
D.    Recent situation 
We have obtained information that seven (7) persons suspected of murder has surrendered to the police. The Police Regional of Jambi (Polda Jambi) was making efforts of law enforcement to reveal this crime. According to us, there are three important things that must be done.

  1. Ensure the Police Regional of Jambi can optimally reveal the crimes.

  2. Being part of an effort to open the patterns and practices of forest and plantation security management more broadly. We see that the violence by officers/security forces plantations and estates often occur, especially cases in Jambi with the same company. In our records that Ahmad Adam (45) a resident of the Senyerang village, regency of Tanjung Jabung Barat was killed by police forces on August 2010. We assess that means security in HTI/plantation has been done which creates excessive violence and a scourge for local people, especially those who have a conflict with the company. During security approach taken by the company and the state let these practices occur, it can be ascertained rights violations will continue to occur even widespread in Indonesia.

  3. Create peace and security for the community and encourage national state institutions working to monitor the handling of this crime and ensure no recurrence of similar violence in the future.

Suggested action:

We expect you to make a direct intervention into the matter and urged the Indonesian government to provide protection against human rights defenders and the increased vulnerability of environmental advocacy run. Immediately stop the practice of violence against human rights defenders Environment, urged the government to evaluate the pattern and practice of security in Industrial Timber Plantation concessions and urged the police to enforce the law fairly.
For your support, please write a letter to this following institution;
Mr. Joko Widodo
President of Republic Indonesia
State Palace
Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara
Jakarta Pusat 10010
Fax: + 62 21 2314138, 3452685, 3457782
Komjen. Pol Badrodin Haiti
Indonesian Police Chief
Jl. Trunojoyo No.3
Tel/faks: +62 21-7218144
Email: [email protected]
Hafidz Abbas
Chairman of National Human Rights Commission
Jl. Latuharhary No.4B, Menteng
Central Jakarta 10310 – Indonesia
Fax: 021-3925227
Brigjen Pol. Drs. Satriya Hari Prasetya, SH
Jl. Jend Sudirman No. 45 Jambi
Telp. +62 741?22025



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