JAKARTA: Human rights activists urge the central government to revoke Bandung’s title of Human Rights Friendly City following the forced eviction of residents of the Taman Sari subdistrict in the provincial capital of West Java.
Bandung hosted on Dec 10 an event commemorating International Human Rights Day, during which the city was bestowed with the honour by the Law and Human Rights Ministry.
Willy Hanafi, the director of Bandung Legal Aid Institute (LBH Bandung) said the forced eviction – carried out by the Bandung Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) in connection with the city administration’s plan to construct row houses in the area – violated human rights.
“Bandung Satpol PP violated human rights by carrying out the eviction without proper procedures, especially as a legal challenge (in relation to the construction) is still ongoing in the courts, ” Willy said.
The lawsuit was filed by the Taman Sari residents against Bandung Public Housing and Settlement Agency for issuing an environmental permit for the housing construction in Taman Sari.
The residents and activists are challenging the permit on the basis that it is not in accordance with the 2009 Environment Law.
Willy said the court ruling was expected on Thursday.
Last Thursday, the Bandung administration ordered the eviction of the residents of community unit 11 in the Taman Sari subdistrict as the area had been earmarked as the location for the Taman Sari row house project, which was conceived in 2017 under then-Bandung mayor Ridwan Kamil’s administration.
Satpol PP initially sent out a notice informing the residents to vacate their homes as the land belonged to the city administration.
However, at around 9am on the same day, hundreds of Satpol PP officers suddenly flooded into the area without any prior announcement and started entering the residents’ homes.
“They took people’s belongings out of their houses.
“Dozens of police officers also entered the location not long after that, ” Willy said.
Police personnel continued to arrive at the location while Satpol PP officers emptied out the homes.
Several residents and activists acting in solidarity helped to move their belongings inside nearby Al-Islam Mosque, located at the community unit’s main entrance.
The eviction, which affected at least 33 households that had refused to be relocated, continued with officers operating a backhoe to tear down buildings, even though they were unable to provide any documentation ordering the eviction, Willy said.
“This arbitrary act led to other residents and activists at the location forming a line to block the officers from continuing what they were doing, ” Willy said. — The Jakarta Post/ANN
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