Genting Baru, Surabaya

What is affected
Housing private
Land Social/public
Type of violation Forced eviction
Date 29 October 2008
Region A [ Asia ]
Country Indonesia
Location Genting Baru subdistrict, Surabaya

Affected persons

Total 2500
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution
Forced eviction
Housing losses
- Number of homes 500
- Total value €

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Brief narrative

RESIDENTS POWERLESS IN FACE OF COURT ORDER Ridwan Max Sijabat , The Jakarta Post , Surabaya | Wed, 10/29/2008 10:58 AM Emotions ran high in the Genting Baru subdistrict in Surabaya on Monday as homes and shops were demolished and hundreds of residents evicted in compliance with a court order. Residents watched helplessly as demolition equipment, backed up by about 1,500 police officers and hundreds of volunteers, was moved in to raze more than 500 houses and store houses in the 6.9-hectare area. The demolition and eviction were conducted under an order by Surabaya District Court. The court ruled in favor of PT Hartono Motor, which claimed ownership of the land. Within six hours, all buildings, except a mosque, had been flattened, with the mostly Madurese residents offering little resistance after armed police officers, accompanied by eight dogs, threatened to take action against anyone trying to prevent the demolition crew from doing their work. Some residents held a gathering calling on God to uphold justice, while others staged a demonstration nearby in protest against the eviction. Protesters held banners reading, We have only huts, don`t make us homeless, Taking state land is corruption and Do you want to claim more lives? A group of about 20 residents went to the City Council to file a complaint and seek political assistance. Hundreds of families whose houses were torn down were taken to the nearby mosque. The city administration had no solution for housing residents over coming nights. We don`t know where to stay or where to go but this operation is being carried out by force, one mother said, crying and carrying her youngest daughter. City Police spokeswoman Adj. Sr. Comr. Sri Setyo Rahayu said the police would adopt a peaceful approach but we will take harsh action if residents use force to prevent the court from carrying out the eviction. Mari Syukur, a lawyer for the evicted residents, expressed his strong protest against the eviction, which he said contravened the recent agreement between residents and the court. He said he would send a complaint about the eviction to the National Police chief and the district court. Chairperson of the City Council`s Commission A on social affairs, Retna Wangsa Bawana, questioned the land ownership, saying that before PT Hartono Motor and residents were involved in the land dispute, the land was officially owned by the provincial irrigation agency. She called on the provincial administration to clarify who owned the land and, given the court ruling, how the state land came to be passed to a businessman. We will ask the provincial administration to investigate the transfer of the land to a private company, she said when receiving residents` representatives at her office. Khoiri, a lawyer representing PT Hartono Motor, owned by Hari Budi Hartono and Rudi Hartono, denied allegations his client and the provincial administration were involved in a conspiracy to possess the land, saying his client had legal evidence and land title documents. He said the eviction operation had been postponed many times since his client won the court case in 1995. My client has been patient because the residents, backed up by the political elite, have many times requested a delay to give them the chance to tear down the houses themselves, he said. Today is an appropriate moment (to do this) because the National Police chief is committed to upholding the law.

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