On January 29, 2013, at about 4:30pm, a protest of peasants was violently repressed in South Sumatra by the Regional Police. About 25 people were beaten and arrested, peasants and also three activists including Anwar Sadat, Director of WALHI South Sumatra, the main environmental NGO of the country.
Please help release Anwar and the other arrested people by signing the On Line Petition: www.change.org/ReleaseAnwar
Background: On South Sumatra, about 100 conflicts exist around land access and land tenure, involving local communities and companies that control about 65% of the lands of the region through land concessions they received from the government. These companies promote large-scale pulpwood, rubber and oil palm plantations, but also sugarcane. The biggest one among them is Sinar Mas. Expansion of plantations means more people expelled from their lands and more poverty.
But the people in South Sumatra are increasingly organizing to reclaim community lands and WALHI South Sumatra has actively supported these communities. However, they often have to face police violence and intimidation.(Photo: occupation of acacia tree plantations by local farmers in south Sumatra)