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On Saturday, 26 September 2015, two environmental activists have been attacked in Selok Awar Awar Village, Lumajang Regency, East Java Province, Indonesia. Mr. Salim and Mr. Tosan, who are also local peasants, were attacked by around 40 thugs riding motorcycles. The attack resulted with the murder of Salim, who has been tortured and stoned to death.


According to the following report by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) the attack, occurred due to the activists’ commitment against illegal sand mining, was ordered and supported by the Head of Selok Awar-Awar Village, Mr. Hariyono, and the police officers of Pasiran police sector (Polsek Pasiran).  



The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding the killing of environmental activist, Mr. Salim (known as Salim Kancil) and the attack on Mr. Tosan in Selok Awar-Awar Village, Lumajang Regency, East Java Province, Indonesia. The two activists were attacked by thugs who were ordered and supported by the Head of Selok Awar-Awar Village, Mr. Hariyono, and the police officers of Pasiran police sector (Polsek Pasiran). The attack occurred due to the activists having organized a protest against illegal sand mining. Moreover, according to some witnesses, the illegal mining is also supported by local parliament members of Lumajang.


On Saturday, 26 September 2015, villagers of Selok Awar Awar were shocked to learn of the attack on two local environmental activists, Mr. Salim and Mr. Tosan, who are also local peasants. The attack resulted in the death of Salim. The case began when around 40 people (known thugs) with motorcycles came to Tosan’s house at 7:30 a.m. carrying wood, hoes, sickles, and stones. Without any conversation, the people immediately attacked and tried to drag Tosan from his house. Tosan tried to escape using his bike.

Tosan was hit by a motorcycle in the field not far from his house. They stopped attacking Tosan after a villager, Ridwan, tried to stop them. Subsequently the thugs headed to Salim’s house, and when they arrived, Salim was holding his five-year-old grandson. The thugs tied up Salim and dragged him for two kilometers, finally taking him to the hall of Selok Awar-Awar Village.

On the way to the hall the thugs continued to torture Salim. When they arrived at the hall, though many children, students of Early Childhood Education (PAUD) gathered around and witnessed the torture, they continued to beat Salim with various tools, such as sticks, stones, and bamboo.

They then brought Salim to the graveyard and stoned him to death.


Legal and illegal mining has become a serious concern over the past five years in Indonesia. Such exploitation of natural resources has contributed to a number of human rights violations in Indonesia, such as murder, torture, attacks, illegal detention, land grabbing and forced eviction.

The most serious problem in the mining sector is the law enforcement itself, because in many cases police tend to ignore rights violations and environmental and material damage caused by the exploitation of natural resources.

Though the Constitutional Court (MK) has issued a verdict No 35 / PUU-X / 2012 that protects customary land, the violation of land rights continues in Indonesia. Furthermore, in some cases security forces are also involved in supporting the mining company, perhaps due to receiving compensation from the company, such as in the case of the Freeport company in Papua Province and other areas in Indonesia.


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