Tiberias Village Head’s Sole Protest at the Supreme Court
After the Lone Protest of Tiberias Village Head at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, Abner Patras, the Head of Tiberias Village, engaged in discussions with TuK INDONESIA concerning the Dispute Case of Tiberias Village Farmers in Kec. Poigar, Kab. North Sulawesi Bolmong, involving PT Malisya Sejahtera.
PT Malisya Sejahtera, a company owned by Indofood from the Salim Group, has been operating on the arable land of Tiberias Village Farmers since 2001. It is worth noting that PT Malisya Sejahtera acquired Cultivation Rights on Land in that year, despite not yet having legal entity status.
In 2017, Tiberias farmer who had been evicted from the land he had cultivated organized a protest, which was subsequently suppressed and silenced by the police from two Polres (Regional Police) and Brimob (Mobile Brigade) units, with support from Bolmong Kodim (Military District Command). During the same year, the Tiberias farmer was arrested and imprisoned, while PT Malisya Sejahtera employees forcefully demolished and set fire to 70 houses. Additionally, the farmers’ seasonal crops were destroyed. The farmer was prosecuted under allegations of crop theft, even though those crops were cultivated by the Tiberias farmers themselves. However, in the subsequent criminal ruling, the charges of theft and illegal entry into the HGU (Hak Guna Usaha, Cultivation Rights on Land) were found to be unsubstantiated.
Simultaneously, Tiberias farmers initiated a civil lawsuit at the Kotamobagu District Court. The lawsuit was initially successful, with its validity further reinforced by the appellate decision of the Manado High Court. However, at the cassation level, the lawsuit was ultimately dismissed on the basis of lacking legal grounds.
In 2022, a new chapter unfolded as Tiberias Farmers were once again reported by PT Malisya Sejahtera, facing identical charges as those in 2017.
Abner Patras, who was also being prosecuted under criminal law, was moved to take a single action as a result of this lengthy and repeated case..
“I, as the Head of Tiberias Village, who was also unjustly prosecuted under a law that defied common sense, arrived in Jakarta alone to represent the Tiberias Village Farmers Community and stage a peaceful solitary demonstration. My purpose was to awaken the conscience of the judiciary within the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia. We earnestly appeal to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Honorable Supreme Court Justices to ensure that these cases are tried in accordance with the law,” shouted Abner Patras.
Given the root causes of the dispute cases and the judicial process faced by the Tiberias farmers, the practices of the Land Mafia and the Judiciary Mafia were highlighted on this occasion.
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