INDONESIA: Army forcibly sealing off houses in Gunung Sari, ignoring legal procedures

ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION – URGENT APPEALS PROGRAMME
Hunger Alert Case: AHRC-HAC-008-2015
July 24, 2015
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INDONESIA: Army forcibly sealing off houses in Gunung Sari, ignoring legal procedures

ISSUES: Forced eviction, housing rights, law enforcement, violence against women

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Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the sealing off of 37 houses in Gunung Sari, South Surabaya city, East Java province, Indonesia by the military. While the residents have legal documents to prove possession of their houses and land, such as the ownership certificate (SHM), letter seals (surat segel), and building use permits (HGB), the military have no evidence to prove that they legally own or are entitled to the houses.
CASE NARRATIVE:
AHRC-HAC-008-2015-01
The Army Sealing off houses in Gunung Sari, South Surabaya (AHRC file photo)

In August 2014, the residents of RW 8 and RW 9, Gunung Sari, Surabaya received invitations from the Kodam V Brawijaya to discuss returning the houses to the Army. As the residents had legal documents allowing them to stay in the houses, they refused to attend. Subsequently, Kodam V Brawijaya sent the invitations eight times, all of which the residents refused to attend.

After the military did not get any response from the residents, officers visited the houses to request the residents to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Army. When the residents asked the purpose of the MOU, the Army were not able to explain it well however. As a result of the residents’ refusal to sign the MOU, Captain Priyo, leader of the Army group who came to offer the MOU, intimidated the residents who do not want to sign it.
On 9 July 2015, the Commander of Military Region Command, Korem Surabaya, Colonel Inf Muhammad Nur Rahmad and his subordinates came to the residents’ houses and forcibly demanded that they sign the MOU. Colonel Rahmad threatened the residents that their houses would be sealed if they refused to sign the MOU. According to the residents, they were forcibly dragged from their houses without any official letters or information.
The residents then conducted a public protest by blocking the road nearby the Gunung Sari houses between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The residents finally ended the protest after the Commander of Military District Command, Kodim 0832 South Surabaya, Lieutenant Colonel Inf (Letkol) Rudi Andriono along with the Chief of Police of Wonokromo Police Sector, Kapolsek Wonokromo, Commissaries Police (Kompol) Arief Kristianto, conducted negotiation and mediation with the residents.
After mediation and negotiation, the residents were again requested to sign the MOU. In response, the residents requested to study the MOU for seven days and also requested the Army to unseal the houses. Lieutenant Rudi Andriono refused to fulfill the request, adding that on July 14 the army would explain the content and the purpose of the MOU. Andriono also stated that the Army will provide a non-permanent refugee camp until the residents find new houses. Furthermore, he added that if the residents refused the offer, they can sue the Army through the court.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
In the past five years, forced evictions conducted by the Indonesian Military (TNI) have occurred massively in almost all Indonesian provinces. The Government, in particular the National Land Agency (BPN) and the TNI have yet to find an effective way to resolve the land conflicts. In general, the military does not have legal documents to claim the land or houses that have been occupied by civilian residents or retired military personnel for many years.
The previous government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) had declared a moratorium on the housing conflicts between the residents and the TNI. Under current President Joko Widodo, however, the Government does not have any clear policy on the land and housing conflicts, resulting in massive forced evictions occurring without effective remedies.
SUGGESTED ACTION:
Please write to the authorities listed below, asking them to ensure that the Army obeys the law and stops the forced evictions against Gunung Sari residents. The Army must respect the rule of law and submit proof that the land and houses in Gunung Sari belong to it. President Joko Widodo must establish an effective mechanism to resolve housing and land conflicts between the Army (TNI) and residents.
The AHRC is writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing as a Component of the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living, and on the Right to Non-Discrimination, calling for their intervention into this matter.
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SAMPLE LETTER:
Dear ………………..,
INDONESIA: Army forcibly sealing off houses in Gunung Sari, ignoring legal procedures
Name of victim: Residents of Gunung Sari, South Surabaya City, East Java Province, Indonesia
Names of alleged perpetrators: The Military Area Command (Kodam V Brawijaya)
Date of incident: August 2014 to July 2015
Place of incident: Gunung Sari, South Surabaya City, East Java Province, Indonesia
I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the sealing off of 37 houses in Gunung Sari, South Surabaya city, East Java province, Indonesia by the military. While the residents have legal documents to prove possession of their houses and land, such as the ownership certificate (SHM), letter seals (surat segel), and building use permits (HGB), the military have no evidence to prove that they legally own or are entitled to the houses.
In August 2014, the residents of RW 8 and RW 9, Gunung Sari, Surabaya received invitations from the Kodam V Brawijaya to discuss returning the houses to the Army. As the residents had legal documents allowing them to stay in the houses, they refused to attend. Subsequently, Kodam V Brawijaya sent the invitations eight times, all of which the residents refused to attend.
After the military did not get any response from the residents, officers visited the houses to request the residents to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Army. When the residents asked the purpose of the MOU, the Army were not able to explain it well however. As a result of the residents’ refusal to sign the MOU, Captain Priyo, leader of the Army group who came to offer theMOU, intimidated the residents who do not want to sign it.
On 9 July 2015, the Commander of Military Region Command, Korem Surabaya, Colonel Inf Muhammad Nur Rahmad and his subordinates came to the residents’ houses and forcibly demanded that they sign the MOU. Colonel Rahmad threatened the residents that their houses would be sealed if they refused to sign the MOU. According to the residents, they were forcibly dragged from their houses without any official letters or information.
The residents then conducted a public protest by blocking the road nearby the Gunung Sari houses between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The residents finally ended the protest after the Commander of Military District Command, Kodim 0832 South Surabaya, Lieutenant Colonel Inf (Letkol) Rudi Andriono along with the Chief of Police of Wonokromo Police Sector, Kapolsek Wonokromo, Commissaries Police (Kompol) Arief Kristianto, conducted negotiation and mediation with the residents.
After mediation and negotiation, the residents were again requested to sign the MOU. In response, the residents requested to study the MOU for seven days and also requested the Army to unseal the houses. Lieutenant Rudi Andriono refused to fulfill the request, adding that on July 14 the army would explain the content and the purpose of the MOU. Andriono also stated that the Army will provide a non-permanent refugee camp until the residents find new houses. Furthermore, he added that if the residents refused the offer, they can sue the Army through the court.
The Army must obey the law and stop the forced evictions against Gunung Sari residents. The Army must respect the rule of law and submit proof that the land and houses in Gunung Sari belong to it. President Joko Widodo must establish an effective mechanism to resolve housing and land conflicts between the Army (TNI) and residents.
Yours Sincerely,
……………….
PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO:
1. Mr. Joko Widodo
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 3458 595
Fax: +62 21 3484 4759
E-mail: webmaster@setneg.go.id
2. Mr. Yasonna Laoly
Minister
Ministry of Law and Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6–7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 525 3006, 525 3889
Fax: +62 21 525 3095
3. Dr. Mualimin Abdi SH., MH
Director General of Human Rights
Office of the Director General of Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6–7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 5253006
Fax: +62 21 5253095
4. Ryamizard Ryacudu
Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat No. 13-14 Jakarta Pusat
Telp : + 62 21-382050
Fax : + 62 21- + 62 21-382050
Official Site : http://www.kemhan.go.id/
Email : postmaster@kemhan.go.id
KOTAK POS 2005 JAKARTA 10020
5. General Gatot Nurmantyo
Chief of Indonesian Military
Mabes TNI Cilangkap Jakarta Timur
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 84595576, +62 21 8459-5326
Fax: + 62 21 84591193
Email: ppidtni@puspen.tni.mil.id
6. Mr. Danang Girindrawardana
Chairperson of Ombudsman of Republic of Indonesia
Jl. HR. Rasuna Said Kav. C-19 Kuningan (Gedung Pengadilan TIPIKOR) Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 52960894/95
Fax: +62 21-52960904/05
7. Mr. Mahfudz Siddiq
Chairperson
Commission one of the House of Representative [DPR]
Gedung Nusantara II DPR RI, Lt I
Jalan Jenderal Gatot Subroto, Jakarta,
INDONESIA
Tel : +62 21 5715.520, +62 21 5715.518 / 581
Fax : +62 21 5715. 328 / +62 21 571 5687
Email : bag_pengaduan@dpr.go.id
8. Commissioner General Badroedin Haiti
Deputy National Police Chief
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan 12110
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 384 8537, 726 0306
Fax: +62 21 7220 669
E-mail: info@polri.go.id
9. Mr. Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno
Chairperson of National Police Commission
Jl. Tirtayasa VII No. 20
Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 739 2315
Fax: +62 21 739 2352
E-mail: secretariat@kompolnas.go.id, skm@kompolnas.go.id
10. Mr. Nur Kholis
Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4-B
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 392 5227-30
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail: info@komnas.go.id

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Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

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