Tag Archives: repressive labour conditions

Photo Essay: JPIC reveals abuses at Mam plantations of PT Dongin Prabhawa

A Report of a Visit to PT Dongin Prabhawa’s Plantation at Mam from our partners at AwasMifee and JPIC.

February 19, 2014

mam6A recent visit to Mam to monitor the latest developments around PT Dongin Prabhawa’s oil palm plantation near the south bank of the Digoel River in Merauke has revealed several concerns, from irregularities in the logging plan and ill-treatment of workers to human rights abuses.

PT Dongin Prabhawa is a subsidiary of the Korindo Group, which has several other oil palm and forestry businesses along the Digoel River.

The monitoring by JPIC MSC Indonesia revealed that PT Dongin Prabhawa had been clearing the forest and taking the wood on barges to Korindo’s plywood factory upriver in Asiki.  An employee working as logging coordinator claimed that there were some irregularities in the work – the company was supposed to only log the areas assigned in its 2012 annual work plan during 2013, but actually logged the areas in the 2013 work plan as well. Although logging was not currently taking place at the time of the visit, logs were piled up in several places, including three log piles at the port. In other parts of the concession oil palm had already been planted.

The presence of police and military in the area were giving cause for concern. It was reported that on the 12th December 2013, two policemen from the Okaba police station who were assigned as security for PT Dongin Prabhawa at Mam, confiscated liquor from three local vendors after a search. The three local people were ordered to report regularly to the police station, but the police officers resold the alcohol to local customary landowners, also getting drunk with them.

Gambling with dice also takes place around the PT Dongin Prabhawa plantation and two police officers are involved in this. Addiction to gambling and alcohol often causes serious social problems in indigenous communities and so it is highly irresponsible of the police to promote such practices, and make money from them.

The Indonesian Army and Navy are stationed at Bade, a 30 minute speedboat ride away across the river. As has previously been reported, several young men, who may have been drinking, have recently been arrested and beaten up by the military in this area.

Another case of abuse by the military was reported on 13th February. It was claimed that the previous day a company employee originally from the Kei islands in South-East Maluku, was arrested in PT Dongin Prabhawa’s Division Two and tortured by a member of the Army.

There was also evidence of a worrying disregard for worker’s health and safety. Workers stationed at Division Two are drinking water from holes dug by diggers. The workers have complained about this. What is worse, chemical fertilizers are being used close to these water sources.

During the last three months (December to February) PT Dongin Prabhawa had not given either contracted nor casual workers the foodstuffs they were entitled to.

Some photos of the area are shown below, taken in January/ February 2014. All photos courtesy of WF from Papuan Voices and JPIC MSC Indonesia.

You can view the entire set here also at Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/103590506@N06/

mam5 mam4 mam3 mam2 mam1

Nabire: Brimob Assaults a Civilian Due to Wage Demands

by Oktavianus Pogau  at SuaraPapua.com

June 28, 2013

Nabire – On 26 June 2013, Titua Money, a traditional landowner of Kampung Warmi, Yaur District, Nabire Region, Papua was violated by 3 members of the Mobile Police Brigade of Papua district.  Titus was assaulted due because he protested against PT. Nabire Baru, an oil palm plantation regarding a delay in the payment of his wages.

“It is true that my brother’s face was assaulted with a rifle butt by three members of the Mobile Police Brigade (Brimob) of Papua. His lips were bleeding and busted. His buttocks were assaulted with the rifle butt until it turned blue black,” explained the victim’s brother, Imanuel Money, when he was contacted by suarapapua.com, on Friday (28 June 2013) afternoon.

Before the assault, Imanuel said that his brother was detained and handcuffed by the three policemen, after which they rained repeated blows to his face with a rifle butt.

“After the arrest, the policemen released eight shots in the air to intimidate other workers who were present in the plantation,” Imanuel added.

Imanuel further elaborated that, his brother Titus, had protested to the manager of PT. Nabire Baru due to a delay in the payment of his wages. This practice had become increasingly frequent and without an explanation provided to the workers.

“The delay in the payment of the wages of the workers, including my brother, was a common practice of the plantation, however no one dared to protest because armed police personnel were employed by the plantation to pacify the situation to their benefit,” explained Imanuel.

Imanuel said that he had asked his brother to return to Nabire to attend to his medical needs, however this was prohibited by the management of the plantation.

“The plantation has utilized the mobile police brigade to keep peace in the plantation. To our knowledge the plantation has employed eight mobile police brigade personnel for that purpose. The three mobile police brigade who perpetrated the assault are Sertu Eko, Serda Genta and Sertu Urbanus,” said Imanuel.

Imanuel demanded immediate legal disciplinary action by the Police Inspector General of Papua, Tito Karnavian and Police Adjunct Senior Commissioner of Nabire, Bahara Marpaung against the three personnel.

“As a representative of the kin of the victim I demand that the Police Inspector General of Papua and the Police Adjunct Senior Commissioner of Nabire take due action against the three personnel who perpetrated an inhumane assault against my brother over a trivial matter,” expressed Imanuel.

When contacted by suarapapua.com for confirmation, the Police Adjunct Senior Commissioner, Bahara Marpaung verified the assault by the three police personnel against Titus Money who is an employee of PT Nabire Baru. The Commisioner claimed that Titus had threatened and assaulted the manager in a drunken stupor.

“Mr Titus Money had threatened and assaulted the plantation manager in a drunken stupor. Our personnel meant to calm him down, however Titus had behaved in a disorderly manner and spat on one of the officers. This had enraged the personnel who resorted to severe action to control Titus Money,” explained the Commissioner of Nabire.

The Commissioner also bid the family of the victim to make a formal police report with adequate medical evidence as proof the assault if they wished to proceed with legal action against the three police personnel who had assaulted Titus Money.

“I welcome the family of the victim to make a police report to start the legal process. I am also prepared to meet the family tomorrow at the District Police Station of Nabire, I shall await them,” he urged.

Pt. Nabire Baru is an agribusiness involved in promoting oil plantations. It started its operations in Kampung Sima, Yaur district and Nabire district, three years ago. It has been actively recruiting the local communities in the areas as labourers and workers with very low wages.