Know My Name:Eva Susanty Hanafi Bande

Urgent Action Fund. For more on Eva's’s work, see Know My Name: Eva Bande


Location: Indonesia

WHO: Eva is a defender of women’s human rights, land rights, and the environment and a mother of three from the district of Banggai, in Central Sulawesi Province, Indonesia. Her activism began in 1998 when, while still a university student, she became an advocate for survivors of sexual violence and for the rights of women and children.

WHAT: Gold ore was first processed in Gosowong in the North Halmahera region of Indonesia in 1999. Since then, more than 4 million ounces of gold and 3 mill Through her work with women, Eva began to hear of forced evictions and of farmland stolen by palm oil companies. One company in particular, PT Berkat Hutan Pusaka, had illegally appropriated land from local indigenous people and from the Bangkiriang Wildlife Reserve in Central Sulawesi. The company logged native trees from the land and replaced them with palm for oil production. Local communities quickly began to feel the impact. Without the protections against soil erosion offered by native trees, flooding became more common and the paddy fields and homes were constantly swamped. The incidence of water-borne diseases like dysentery and diarrhea increased.

Witnessing this, Eva founded the People’s Front for Central Sulawesi Palm Oil Advocacy to organize communities to stop the illegal land grabs and to monitor environmental degradation. Together with local farmers, she organized peaceful demonstrations against the company. When the Indonesian military stepped in and tried to end the protests, tensions escalated. Eva attempted to mediate and calm the situation, but local anger boiled over and a group of farmers set fire to some of the company’s equipment.

Along with twenty-three others, Eva was arrested and on May 26, 2010, sentenced to 4 years and 6 months of imprisonment, even though she herself had no role in starting the fire. At the time, she had three young children at home. /p>

IN HER OWN WORDS: “To lead is to take risks. The violence I experienced in jail definitely left a mark on me, and it shook the community as well. We have to continue to strengthen the community because the fight is far from over.”

WHAT: After a full day and night of singing and dancing, Afrida and twenty-three community members were arrested by the police. Afrida

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