Indonesia: 900 students face forced eviction from university site

Amnesty International has today (11 November) appealed to its supporters to write to the Indonesian authorities on behalf of an estimated 900 students who are facing imminent forced eviction from the temporary home in Jakarta where they have been living and studying.

The students of Setia Christian college could be forcibly evicted within days. In recent weeks electricity and water have been disconnected and at least 17 students are on hunger strike. It is feared they may be forced to sleep on the streets if no suitable accommodation is found.

Hundreds of these students were evacuated from the Setia college campus in 2008 after attacks from villagers and others linked to sections of the hardline Islamist group, the Islamic Defenders Front. Religious minority groups including Christians suffer from discrimination, intimidation and violence in Indonesia. Since these attacks many students have lived in very insecure conditions. This is the second time in a month that some of them have been notified that they must leave their home at short notice.

Plans to move students to another temporary site, a former holding centre for migrants, have been criticised by college authorities who have said that the building which is in a state of disrepair is unsuitable for people to live and study in. Over 1,000 students from Setia College have been living in temporary premises lacking adequate sanitation and access to clean water and health services.

Amnesty is calling on the Indonesian authorities to:

* not forcibly evict an estimated 900 STT Setia college
students from their current residence

* provide assurances that all Setia College students will be provided
with adequate accomodation and access to clean water, adequate
sanitation and health services;

* conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the attacks
against the Setia college in July 2008 and into reports that the
police failed to protect the staff and students.

To take action please go to http://www.amnesty.org

Background:
Forced evictions are carried out without adequate notice
and consultation with those affected, without legal safeguards and
without assurances of adequate alternative accommodation. Under
international law, including the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) to which Indonesia
is a state party, forced evictions are prohibited, and the state
has the duty to ensure that civilians are not subject to forced
evictions.

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