Subject: A concern for the people of Barak Induk
To: Dianto Bachriadi, National Commission on Human Rights
I write to you with concern for the people of Barak Induk, Sei Lapan, Langkat, North Sumatra. I understand that they are being harassed by officials trying to drive them off the land where they have lived and worked for fifteen years.
In 2000, these people, driven by war, settled in their present location. After the Peace Accord of 2005, their status as displaced people was supposed to have been resolved, but this year officials confiscated their trucks on the way to the rubber factory, along with tons of latex that they had produced, under the claim that it was produced in the Leuser Mountain National Forest.
It is my understanding that the Leuser Mountain National Forest was not a forest at all when the people of Barak Induk arrived in the area. It had been cleared for the planting of oil palm. In the past fifteen years, the people of Barak Induk have made it into the forest that it is today, planting rubber and other hardwood trees. They have also built homes, schools, a community reading room and a health clinic. The Indonesian government cannot fairly allow a people fifteen years of productive labor just to evict them from land that they have improved and made productive!
These are people whose right to the necessities of life must be honored. If it is wealthy corporations who want their land, it is the responsibility of the Indonesian government to protect the people of Barak Induk from economic interests constituted only to seek profits and not to care whether lives are destroyed.
Please act now to preserve the rights of the people of Baruk Induk. Thank you for attending to this with all possible speed.