A poem written on the wall of a demolished house in Bukit Duri, Jakarta. (Antara Photo/Rosa Panggabean)

Court Declares Bukit Duri Eviction Unlawful, Residents to Be Compensated


JANUARY 07, 2017

Jakarta. The Jakarta government has been ordered to compensate residents evicted from Bukit Duri, South Jakarta, after a long-awaited court verdict ruled the evictions unlawful.

Judges at the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) also ordered the South Jakarta administration on Thursday (05/01) to retract three warning letters issued against Bukit Duri residents prior to the forced evictions.

The evictions, which were carried out in late September and early October, were part of a project to normalize Ciliwung River, along the banks of which Bukit Duri residents had lived for generations since the 1920s.

Officials from the Jakarta administration have accused them of illegally occupying the areas.

Residents insisted rights to the area and produced documentation and land certificates during the Jakarta PTUN hearing.

"This proves that the evictions carried out by the administrations of Jakarta and South Jakarta were an arbitrary and illegal move," Vera Soemarwi, a lawyer for the Bukit Duri residents, said in a statement released on Friday.

"We urge them to restore the residents' rights to land and homes that have been undermined," Vera added.

The Bukit Duri evictions were just one of dozens carried out by the Jakarta administration since late 2014, when Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama permanently took office after predecessor Joko "Jokowi" Widodo won the presidential election.

Basuki has maintained a tough eviction policy since rising to the helm.