Petition : Justice For Eva Susanti H. Bande

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Indonesia
Honorable Judges of the Criminal Case of EVA SUSANTI H. Bande

At this moment, a woman human rights defender, EVA SUSANTI H. Bande is serving terms on 4-year sentence of imprisonment based on the decision the Supreme Court No. 1573/K/Pid/2011 dated 2 April 2013 jo. Central Sulawesi High Court No : 01/PID/2011/PT.PALU dated 10 Februari 2011 jo Luwuk Court No : 178/PID.B/2010/PN.Lwk dated 12 November 2010. She was accused of committing a crime “Together orally or in writing publicly incited to conduct a crime”, as stipulated in Article 160 Jo. Art. 55 point (1)Criminal Law. Against the decision of the Supreme Court, Eva is applying for judicial review with Register Case Number: 03/PID.PK/2014/PN.Lwk dated 21 Agustus 2014.

In this case, EVA SUSANTI H. Bande, 35 years old, a mother of three children, are separated from her child, due to the decision of imprisonment to be served by Eva.  For 16 years Eva Bande dedicated herself to defend the rights of communities and farmers, including women’s rights. Eva is also a member of the Women’s Solidarity, the organization of women who for 23 years has consistently fighting for gender justice and grassroots women’s rights against impoverishment. In the span of 12 years (1998-2010) EVA SUSANTI H. Bande focus the rights of the people, men and women, who suffer injustices and oppression by the authorities of the State and corporations in a wide range of issues and cases. Among these are cases in Batui Pond (1999), advocating of indigenous women’s organizations Ngata Toro (2000), Agrarian conflict in the area of the Lore-Lindu National Park (Dongi-Dongi) (2000-2001), cases of violence against women in Palu, Buol, Tolitoli (2002). At the end of 2002 to 2007, Eva did an advocating for abused women and Civilian Police Force in the area of conflict in Poso. EVA SUSANTI H. Bande also believed to hold a variety of roles, including as one of the Governing Body KPKP-ST (against women by Central Sulawesi), Coordinator of Eastern Indonesia Forum (FKTI) The province of Central Sulawesi (2007-2009); Coordinator of the Coalition for Women’s Liberation (KUPP) Central Sulawesi (2008-2010); and Coordinator of the People’s Front of Palm Oil Advocacy (Fras-Central Sulawesi, 2009-2010).

EVA SUSANTI H. Bande experienced criminalization by the state on charges of incitement to criminal acts as a result of her being targeted while defending and voicing the rights of the community and advocate those rights within land conflict between the farmers in Banggai with palm oil and timber companies. Being criminalizedshe has been forced by the state to stop defending  the rights of the people, men and women, because she has to focus on the legal process that must be faced for almost 4 years, since 2010 up until the execution of the supreme court’s decision. This act of Criminalization of Eva is inseparable from the land conflict in Banggai, where EVA SUSANTI H. Bande continue to defend the rights of communities against the companies, namely PT Kurnia Luwuk Sejati (KLS) and PT Berkat Hutan Pusaka (BHP) in the district Banggai, Central Sulawesi.

This case is directly related to the permission of Industrial Plantation Forest (HTI) covering 13,400 ha concession of PT BHP and Hak Guna Usaha (HGU) covering 6,010 hectares owned by PT KLS, which conflicted with the farmers since the 90s. This conflict raises a lot of issues, ranging from customary land expropriation, certified land evictions, disputes in the transmigration project, deforestation resulting in damage to the environment, the expansion of oil in the region Bangkiriang wildlife sanctuary and operations of palm oil plantation illegaly, to the criminalization of farmers and activist. In addition to EVA SUSANTI H. Bande, 23 farmers were also been criminalized, most of them had finished serving their sentences on the charges of destruction of property of PT BHP in the demonstration conducted by the communitieson May 26, 2010, which is also the origin of the criminalization of EVA SUSANTI H. Bande. The criminalization of EVA SUSANTI H. Bande and the 23 farmers can also be seen as form ofweakening farmers movement to fight for their rights. While EVA SUSANTI H. Bande and farmers had to focus on their legal process, the companies continues to expand their area of work.

In this case, EVA SUSANTI H. Bande experiencing injustices, because in the legal process many irregularities occured. Not only that, law enforcement officials clearly siding with the owner of the palm oil companies, namely Murad Husein. This was evidenced by the absence of continued reporting plantation criminal acts to the Police Banggai since 2009, is finally set Murad Husein as a suspect. After nearly 3 years of unclear legal process, then on April 14, 2012, Banggai Police Chief, Central Sulawesi issued a warrant for the termination of the investigation (SP3) on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

Therefore, in examining the case of EVA SUSANTI H. Bande, it is important for judges to consider the real conditions and the fact that faced by the farmers in the Toili plains, namely the arbitrary action which destructed the production line of the farmers and the land grabbing  by the companies. Because of that, the judge in interpreting the law should also pay attention to concrete social problems, and see that what the excess of events in the community due to the activity and behavior of the company that has been in conflict with farmers over the years are outside of the responsibility of EVA SUSANTI H . Bande. The judge in the case is also important to examine the evidence examined in more indepth, particularly the evidence and witnesses that had not been submitted as evidence in this case.

Based on the issues presented above, we plead to the Supreme Court to:

  1. Reviewing the case of Eva Susanti H. Bande and exercising the fairest justice, in a free and impartial trial, taking into account the things that should be worth a consideration about the real conditions and social facts surrounding  this case.
  2. Freeing Eva Susanti H. Bande of any legal charges or at least releasing Eva Susanti H. Bande from all requisition
  3. Redress all rights of EVA SUSANTI H. Bande in her ability, position, prestige, and dignity from all the effects that arise as a result of the arrest, detention and legal process that occurs.

This petition is submitted to be consideredby the Supreme Court, solely with the aim of achieving justice for EVA H. SUSANTI Bande, and no intention what so ever to intervene in the judicial process. We hope the Supreme Court shall be a judicial institution that actually administer justice in thisjudicial review process.

Yours sincerely,

The undersigned,

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