Indonesia: Military Conducts Forced Evictions

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Indonesia: Military Conducts Forced Evictions
By: Jakarta Globe
03 May 2016

Jakarta. Public lawyers have issued Indonesian military chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo with a written reprimand for what they deem unlawful involvement of soldiers in the forced eviction of Jakarta`s urban poor.

As many as 113 forced evictions took place in the capital last year, with the Indonesian Military (TNI) assisting in 65, according to data compiled by the Jakarta Legal Aid Institute (LBH).

In February this year, members of the military were also deployed to help maintain order during the much-publicized eviction of residents from the Kalijodo red-light district in West Jakarta.

The deployment of soldiers to assist with evictions violates the 2004 law on the TNI, which stipulates that the military`s primary task is to uphold Indonesia`s sovereignty and to maintain its territorial integrity, the legal aid group said.

The active involvement of the TNI in forced evictions indicates that Jakarta Governor [Basuki Tjahaja Purnama], who is a product of the reform era, has raised the spirit of the New Order regime, human rights lawyer Alldo Fellix Januardy said on Tuesday (03/05), as quoted by Antara.

However, the 2012 law on the management of social conflicts authorizes provincial administrations to use the military to enforce their policies.

But in accordance with the 2012 law, a provincial administration must first obtain permission from the Indonesian president before soldiers may be deployed in a social conflict.

According to Alldo, evictions do not meet the criteria of what constitutes a social conflict, as defined by the law. Thus, the involvement of the military in forced evictions is illegal.

LBH data show that 20,700 people were directly affected by last year`s 113 forced eviction cases.

Basuki has been maintaining a tough eviction policy since taking office in late 2014, to manage the sprawling capital with more than 10 million residents.

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