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Criminalised for fighting polluting company, 7 activists to appeal jail sentences
Detik News - August 8, 2018
An appeal against the sentences is still underway on the grounds that the judges [failed] to heed the facts in reaching the verdict.
The activists and local residents, Iss, Brilian, Sutarno, Sukemi, Kelvin, Bambang and Danang, received different sentences during the final hearing at the Semarang District Court (PN) on Tuesday August 7.
Iss was sentenced to two years and three months in jail under Article 406 Paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code (KUHP). Brilian and Sutarno were sentenced to two years under the same articles.
Sukemi and Kelvin meanwhile who were charged under Article 187 Paragraph (1) and Article 406 Paragraph (1) of the KUHP were sentenced to two years and three months jail.
Two others, Bambang and Danang, who were charged under Law Number 11/2018 on Information and Electronic Transactions or the ITE Law, were sentenced to three years in jail.
Responding to the sentences, the activist's lawyers from the Semarang Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) said they would appeal.
Mayaza Latifasari from LBH Semarang said that the advocacy team has issued a clear statement on the verdict. The panel of judges failed to acknowledge the fact that the actions of the defendants were in response to the environmental pollution caused by PT RUM.
"The verdict by the panel of judges was unjust because it ignored the objective conditions and the background behind the criminal acts as was acknowledged by the panel of judges in the considerations on the verdict in the case. Because of this therefore the verdict must be rejected", Latifasari told Detik.com on Wednesday August 8.
In addition to launching an appeal, the advocacy team will appeal to civil society networks to voice their support for the jailed environmental activist's fight against environmental pollution cause by PT RUM.
"[We] declare that we will submit a legal appeal against the panel of judge's verdict at the Semarang PN against this case", he asserted.
Since October last year, environmental activists along with local residents have been fighting to get the Sukoharjo regency government to halt operations by PT RUM's because the it has been emitting a foul smelling waste which has inundated villages in the vicinity and sickened local residents. The arrests were made following a blockade of the factory by local residents in front of the PT RUM factory on February 23 which ended with a security post being torched and the factory vandalised.
[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Dibui Karena Melawan Pencemaran, 7 Aktivis Langsung Banding.]
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