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Acehnese Villagers Get Compensation from ExxonMobil for Lawsuits Against Torture by Hired Indonesian Soldiers

BBC News Indonesia

May 15, 2023

Eleven Acehnese villagers who admit they or their families experienced horrific violence more than 20 years ago have received financial compensation from ExxonMobil ahead of a human rights trial due to begin later this month.

In a case filed for lawsuit in 2001 in the Washington DC District Court, United States of America, 11 residents of the village accused ExxonMobil of hiring Indonesian soldiers to maintain security in their operational areas.

Residents however accuse the soldiers of abusing their authority and committing horrific abuses against villagers and their families, including murder, torture, sexual violence and kidnapping.

During this period, ExxonMobil reported one of the largest corporate profits in the world.

“Our client, 11 villagers, bravely faced one of the biggest and most profitable companies in the world and kept fighting for more than 20 years. We are very happy that, at the time of going to court, we were able to get justice for them and their families,” said Agnieszka Fryszman, attorney for the plaintiffs and chief advisor to the Human Rights unit, law firm Cohen Milstein.

“We represent the women and children who saw their fathers shot dead, a woman who was forced to repeatedly jump up and down while eight months pregnant and then sexually abused, and men who were detained and electrocuted, burned, and had their backs smeared with knife,” added Agnieszka.

The 11 villagers – whose identities have been kept secret and who are identified as Jane and John Doe – admit to experiencing severe torture including beatings, rape, shooting and causing death (their family members) by Indonesian soldiers hired by the US oil company, in the 1999- 2003 ago.

They are actually ready to go to Washington DC and testify in a United States court in early June in a case called John Doe Vs ExxonMobil. In fact, videos of witnesses to the violence that have been recorded have also been prepared to be heard in court with this jury system.

Their identities remain confidential and the amount of compensation is also not specified for their safety.

Read Acehnese Villagers Get Compensation from ExxonMobil for Lawsuits Against Torture by Hired Indonesian Soldiers.