Jakarta. A leading human rights group has criticized the Jakarta administration for forcefully evicting residents of the city's slums and demolishing their homes — and also for misleadingly labeling the inhumane practice as "relocations."
"Cities have to be managed in a humane way. The suffering that residents of Bukit Duri, Kalijodo and other slums that have been razed to the ground shows the Jakarta administration is not doing the job it is supposed to do," coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Haris Azhar, said in a written statement on Thursday (29/09).
Jakarta governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama had said he would not give in to the demand of Bukit Duri residents to pay a compensation for their evictions.
"There will be no financial compensation. They will get new flats as compensation," Ahok said at City Hall earlier on Wednesday.
Ahok claimed the city's own regulations make it impossible for the administration to provide financial compensation for Jakarta residents evicted for occupying government-owned property.
Meanwhile, lawmaker Nusyirwan Soedjono said he is backing the relocations, arguing they will improve the residents' lives.
"The relocation at Bukit Duri was the right thing to do. It wasn't an eviction. It will restore the riverbanks and improve the quality of life for the residents," Nusyirwan said on Wednesday.
According to the lawmaker, similar relocation programs have been conducted in the past. The one in Bukit Duri was part of a program to "normalize" the Ciliwung River.