National Human Rights Commission concluded temporarily that a farmer died near concession of PT Suntara Gaja Pati (SGP), a timber supplier associated to Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), in improper manner and needed further investigation. Supratmin, the farmer, was found dead in peat canal of PT SGP  in Senepis forest block of Dumai city on 29 June 2012. Suhendro,  senior investigator the Human Rights Commission said last week that based on accounts by witnesses as a part of fact finding mission conducted by the agency, there was an incident preceded the death.

“From residents’ accounts and supported by the fact found in the site of dead body in canal of PT SGP, it is likely the death of Supratmin is not normal,” said Suhendro. â€œBefore the death took place, there was an occurrence preceding it, that was conflict against PT SGP,” Suhendro explaining that the group of farmers called Pandawa Lima had conflict with the company. “And this becomes initial data to uncover the cause of Supratmin’s death,” Suhendro said as quoted by Tribun Pekanbaru as saying (7/9/2012).

 

Supratmin, a farmer from Buluhala village of Sungai Sembilan sub-district, was found dead by his friends in peat canals of PT SGP where tense conflict involving the local farmers against PT SGP occurred at that time.

 

The Human Rights Commission also urged the police to release temporarily two farmers whom detained by the police following the conflict in the end of June.

 

Taufik Kurahman, head of Pandawa Lima farmers group, said that the two farmers detained after they cleared their plantation and felled acacia trees planted by PT SGP. The security of PT SGP chased after the two farmers and Supratmin, but the latter was previously lost before being found dead in the peat canal of APP supplier which operated in Sumatran tiger habitat.

 

Suhendro said that his organization would question the local police, Dumai municipality administration, and PT SGP. Zulkarnain, head of Sungai Sembilan sub-district, said the residents hailed the hard work done by the Human Rights Commission to respond the concerns raised by the community. “It is a fight initiated by the farmers group, “ he said.