World News

Catholic farmer was granted relief by court

An indigenous Catholic man was granted reprieve from the Supreme Court of Indonesia. He had a lasting feud with the government. He was arrested and jailed, but now all the charges against him have been dropped.

A fifty-seven-year-old indigenous farmer in Indonesia, Mikael Ane, was arrested and jailed after his feud with the government in 2023. The conflict between him and the government sparked because of a plot of land he had built his house on, but the government declared it a part of a tourist park.

Ane was arrested in March 2023 because he built his house in the government-claimed territory for the Ruteng Natural Tourism Park, in the Catholic majority Flores Islands. He was sentenced to one and a half years in prison as well as paying a fine of almost $20.000 to get six months of his sentence commuted.

Now the Supreme Court has ruled over the previous decision, declared Ane innocent, and dropped all the charges against him. Maximilianus Herson Loi, attorney of Ane, hailed the decision as progressive. He said that protecting the rights of indigenous people is extremely hard.

Because there is no law on the protection and recognition of indigenous peoples, they are vulnerable to criminalization.”

The Indigenous People’s Bill, which would grant recognition and protection for them, has been pending in parliament since 2012. Because there was no legal protection, millions of hectares of land were taken from indigenous people, and many indigenous people were targets of violence.

Surce: UCAnews

Photo: UCAnews

Leave a reply