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Mud volcano in Indonesia: Human rights commission finds violations - may bring cases against state, companies

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27 February 2009

Rights body identifies violations in Sidoarjo disaster areas [Indonesia]

Author: Erwida Maulia, Jakarta Post

The National Commission on Human Rights says the displacement of thousands of mudflow victims from their homes in the East Java town of Sidoarjo could be classified as a human rights violation. The commission said based on the team’s findings, it was highly unlikely the incident was a natural phenomenon, but was instead caused by PT Lapindo Brantas Inc [joint venture Energi Mega Persada, MedcoEnergi, Santos]. Commission deputy head Hesti Amirwulan [said]...that essentially the mining company should be held responsible...Law No. 26/2000 on the Human Rights Court classifies the widespread, systematic eviction of people from their homes a gross human rights violation. The commission also found that violations of at least 15 economic, social and cultural rights [which] included the right to settlement, food, health, education, security and the right to live and work.

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25 February 2009

Indonesia mud disaster violated rights-commission

Author: Telly Nathalia, Reuters

Indonesia's human rights commission said on Wednesday it had found evidence of human rights violations after a mud volcano in East Java started erupting in 2006 displacing more than 50,000 people. The commission...said it could bring a case to the country's human rights court. It said that it would establish a special team to investigate further and violations could involve the state and private firms. Some scientists have said that energy firm PT Lapindo Brantas' [joint venture Energi Mega Persada, MedcoEnergi, Santos] drilling for a gas exploration well set off the mud volcano. Lapindo has denied it is to blame, saying the mud disaster was triggered by tectonic activity. The human rights commission said it did not see a strong possibility that it was triggered by natural causes.

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