Indonesia: Palm oil company Astra Agro Lestari (AAL) accused of intimidating community members; incl. company response
On December 4, staff and security agents from AAL – Indonesia’s second largest palm oil company – visited two women in Rio Mukti village in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, allegedly insisting they sign a letter stating there was no land conflict between AAL-subsidiary PT Lestari Tani Teladan (PT LTT) and local communities.
“Every single institution with a connection to AAL must prevent the company from retaliating against communities that are struggling for their lands and livelihoods,” said Uli Arta Siagian, Forest and Plantation Campaign Manager at WALHI National. “The intimidation carried out by AAL against women who called on the company to return their land once again demonstrates AAL’s repressive tactics. AAL is responsible for several cases of criminalization over the past few years alone. Community leaders and environmental human rights defenders have been thrown in jail multiple times due to AAL’s forceful tactics. Indonesian authorities, including the National Human Rights Commission, should ensure this does not escalate into a new campaign of intimidation by AAL.”
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited AAL to respond to allegations, their response can be found below.