Stockholm, December 20, 2008
I hereby express my outrage against the atrocities committed by police
forces in Suluk Bongkal, Riau, Indonesia. On December 18, 2008 a group
farmers were attacked by a large group of police and hired thugs. Gun
shots and teargas were fired against the farmers. Two helicopters were
used in the attack, and there are reports that napalm was used in the
The farmers of Suluk Bongkal were evicted and made landless in 1997, as
the lands to which legally they inhabited and cultivated were transferred
to the Arara Abadi corporation in a highly corrupt fashion. Since 2007
the farmers, organized in the Riau Peasants Union (STR) have reclaimed
the lands that were stolen from them.
The December 18 attack was one in a series of attempts to break the
resolve of struggle of the Suluk Bongkal peasants. Putri, a 2-year old
child was killed in the attack. 700 houses have been burnt, 200 peasants
have been arrested and another 400 are hiding in the surrounding forests.
The December 18 attack has to be condemned, grave violations of human
rights were committed. The European Union and European governments have
to convey to the Indonesian government that this form of repression and
atrocities cannot be tolerated. Internationally, the support needs to be
mobilized in support of the Riau Peasant Union and the demand for
immediate release of all detainees.
Member of the European Parliament