Thursday, 15 December 2011

Police share blame in Mesuji killings: Kontras

Police contributed to the mass killing in Mesuji, Lampung according to the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras).

“We suspect there was collaboration between the plantation company, security forces and PAM Swakarsa [civilian militia] to deal with local people. In the last two years there were many cases that were reported but [have been] neglected afterwards. Even if [the police] responded,

it was only on the surface,” Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar said Thursday as quoted by
Lampung residents made allegations of the brutal killings in Mesuji, Lampung to members of the House of Representatives’ Commission III on Wednesday.

Thirty people were killed after violence erupted when a Malaysian-based company, PT PT Silva Inhutani, took the residents’ land in 2003 to plant rubber and palm.

Maj. Gen. (ret.) Saurip Kadi, a member of Mesuji residents’ advocacy team, said the company sought help from the police and established a private militia to cast out the residents from their land.

He said the private security force was established to do all the dirty work, primarily intimidating locals, right under the police’s nose.

“Police should be held responsible over this incident. Why did they back up and let the [private militia] commit the violence. If the police punished only officers for shooting charges and punished them with only 21-day suspensions then it looks like the police want only to cover this for awhile,” he said.


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