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Agrarian activist sentenced using now-defunct regulation

Jakarta Post - April 26, 2017

Moses Ompusunggu, Jakarta A local court in South Kalimantan has sentenced an agrarian activist to four years' imprisonment using a regulation that was revoked by the Constitutional Court, in another battle between state authorities and citizens over land rights.

Reading out its verdict on Wednesday, the Batulicin District Court's judicial panel stated Trisno Susilo, an activist for the world-largest tribespeople grouping, the Alliance of Indigenous People of the Archipelago (AMAN), was found guilty of violating Article 50 (3) of the 1999 Forestry Law that prohibits illegal land use inside forest areas.

The court also ordered the defendant to pay Rp 15 million (US$1,128.16) in fines or face an additional three months in prison.

Trisno's lawyer Fatiatulo Lazira said his legal team was planning to appeal the ruling at a higher court, describing the verdict as a "misleading," and as one that would further "legalize deprivation of customary land."

"The court used an article that had been abolished by the Constitutional Court," said Fatiatulo, referring to a 2015 ruling by the court, in a statement obtained by The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Trisno is a staunch AMAN supporter and activist in the fight of Dayak Meratus natives in South Kalimantan to reclaim customary land that, according to the group, they were deprived of by a timber company. In 2011, he was detained by Tanah Bumbu Police over allegations that he had illegally used land inside forest area. (ebf)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/04/26/agrarian-activist-sentenced-using-now-defunct-regulation.html.

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