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Indonesia: East Java High Court sentenced environmental activist to 10-month imprisonment

Asian Human Rights Commission Urgent Appeal - April 6, 2018

Urgent Appeal Update: AHRC-UAU-002-2018

Dear Friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received updated information regarding the East Java High Court sentencing of Mr. Heri Budiawan, alias Budi Pego, an environmental activist, to 10-months imprisonment. Despite the fact that Budi's lawyer had presented evidences and witness testimony explaining that the original banners with a Communist logo have never been presented to the court, the judges ignored it. Moreover, the judges also ignored Budi's testimony stating that he and the local community in Sumberagung never put any Communist logo on the banners. Budi has been detained for the past seven months, since 4 September 2017. Budi and the local community in Sumberagung village believe that the prosecution is a way to weaken their advocacy effort against mining operations in Tumpang Pitu.

Updated information:

On 16 March 2018, the East Java province High Court sentenced Mr. Heri Budiawan, alias Budi Pego, an environment activist, to 10-months imprisonment. The High Court's sentence is in line with the sentence issued by the judges of Banyuwangi District Court on 23 January 2018. After the high court sentence, Budi Pego's lawyers declared their intention to appeal to the Supreme Court in Jakarta.

The High Court Judges ignored evidence and witness testimony, as well as Budi's statement which had been submitted and examined in the district court. The judges also ignored law number 32 of 1999 on Environmental Protection, article 66 of which states, "Everybody struggling for a right to proper and healthy environment may not be charged with criminal or civil offense."

The AHRC notes that the case began on 4 March 2017, when Budi Pego and the local community of Sumberagung village, Pesanggrahan sub-district organized a peaceful protest, displaying banners of "reject mining" against the Bumi Suksesindo Company (PT. Bumi Suksesindo/PT BSI) in Tumpang Pitu, Banyuwangi regency, East Java province.

The expansion of extractive industry along East Java's south coast has significantly increased social and ecological crises. Budi Pego and the local community displayed the banners along the road of Pulau Merah until the Pesanggrahan sub-district office. Suddenly, five unknown persons carrying cameras approached the community members, and gave two banners to them. The unknown persons requested the community to display these two banners as well, and then took some pictures of them. The next day, the police and military publicly informed that there is a logo of sickle and hammer (Communist logo) on the banner. Subsequently, three villagers and Mr. Budi Pego have been charged with Law No. 27 of 1999 on crimes against the State.

Suggested action:

Please write to the authorities listed below. Ask them to ensure that all criminal charges against Mr. Heri Budiawan, known as Budi Pego, an environment activist and a villager of Sumber Agung village, Banyuwangi, East Java Province, must be evaluated by the Supreme Court in Jakarta under fair trial principles. We also urge the police to stop any criminal charges against three other environment activists and other local community members, considering that under Indonesian law number 32 of 1999 on Environmental Protection, article 66 states, "Everybody struggling for a right to proper and healthy environment may not be charged with criminal or civil offense." Furthermore, the government must immediately conduct legal audit upon the mining company operating in Tumpang Pitu, and the audit must be transparent, accountable and accessible for the public (particularly the local community) and media. The local community's input and information about environmental damages due to mining operation in Tumpang Pitu must also be considered by the government.

The AHRC will write a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and the Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, calling for their intervention into this matter.

To support this case, please click here: http://www.urgentappeals.net/support.php?ua=AHRC-UAU-002-2018

Sample letter:

Dear ___________,

Indonesia: East Java High Court sentenced environmental activist to 10-month imprisonment

I am writing to voice my deep concern regarding the East Java High Court sentencing of Mr. Heri Budiawan, alias Budi Pego, an environmental activist, to 10-months imprisonment. Despite the fact that Budi's lawyer had presented evidences and witness testimony explaining that the original banners with a Communist logo have never been presented to the court, the judges ignored it. Moreover, the judges also ignored Budi's testimony stating that he and the local community in Sumberagung never put any Communist logo on the banners. Budi has been detained for the past seven months, since 4 September 2017. Budi and the local community in Sumberagung village believe that the prosecution is a way to weaken their advocacy effort against mining operations in Tumpang Pitu.

On 16 March 2018, the East Java province High Court sentenced Mr. Heri Budiawan, alias Budi Pego, an environment activist, to 10-months imprisonment. The High Court's sentence is in line with the sentence issued by the judges of Banyuwangi District Court on 23 January 2018. After the high court sentence, Budi Pego's lawyers declared their intention to appeal to the Supreme Court in Jakarta.

The High Court Judges ignored evidence and witness testimony, as well as Budi's statement which had been submitted and examined in the district court. The judges also ignored law number 32 of 1999 on Environmental Protection, article 66 of which states, "Everybody struggling for a right to proper and healthy environment may not be charged with criminal or civil offense."

The AHRC notes that the case began on 4 March 2017, when Budi Pego and the local community of Sumberagung village, Pesanggrahan sub-district organized a peaceful protest, displaying banners of "reject mining" against the Bumi Suksesindo Company (PT. Bumi Suksesindo/PT BSI) in Tumpang Pitu, Banyuwangi regency, East Java province.

The expansion of extractive industry along East Java's south coast has significantly increased social and ecological crises. Budi Pego and the local community displayed the banners along the road of Pulau Merah until the Pesanggrahan sub-district office. Suddenly, five unknown persons carrying cameras approached the community members, and gave two banners to them. The unknown persons requested the community to display these two banners as well, and then took some pictures of them. The next day, the police and military publicly informed that there is a logo of sickle and hammer (Communist logo) on the banner. Subsequently, three villagers and Mr. Budi Pego have been charged with Law No. 27 of 1999 on crimes against the State.

Therefore, I respectfully request you to ensure that all criminal charges against Mr. Heri Budiawan, known as Budi Pego, an environment activist and a villager of Sumber Agung village, Banyuwangi, East Java Province, must be evaluated by the Supreme Court in Jakarta under fair trial principles.

I look forward to your prompt action in this matter.

Yours Sincerely,

...................

Please send your letters to:

1. Mr. Joko Widodo
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Jl. Veteran No. 16
Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 3458 595
Fax: +62 21 3484 4759
E-mail: webmaster@setneg.go.id

2. Mr. Yasonna Laoly
Minister of Law and Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6 7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 525 3006, 525 3889
Fax: +62 21 525 3095

3. Mr. Ignasius Jonan
Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources
Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan No 18 Jakarta Pusat 10110
Phone: +62 21 3804242
Fax: +62 21 3507210

4. Dr. Mualimin Abdi SH., MH
Director General of Human Rights
Office of the Director General of Human Rights
Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. 6 7
Kuningan, Jakarta 12940
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 5253006
Fax: +62 21 5253095

5. Mr. Aidul Fitriciada Azhari
Chairperson of The Judicial Commission
Jalan Kramat Raya No. 57 Jakarta Pusat
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 3905876
Fax: +62 21 3906215
Email: pengaduan@komisiyudisial.go.id

6. General Pol. Drs. H.M. Tito Karnavian, M.A., Ph.D
Chief of National Police (KAPOLRI)
Jl. Trunojoyo No. 3 KebayoranBaru, Jakarta Selatan 12110
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 384 8537, 726 0306
Fax: +62 21 7220 669
E-mail: info@polri.go.id

7. Ms. Poengky Indarti
Commissioner of the National Police Commission
Jl. Tirtayasa VII No. 20
KebayoranBaru, Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 739 2315
Fax: +62 21 739 2352
E-mail: secretariat@kompolnas.go.id, skm@kompolnas.go.id

8. Professor. Amzulian Rifai S.H, LL.M, PhD
Chairperson of Ombudsman of Republic of Indonesia
Jl. HR. Rasuna Said Kav. C-19 Kuningan (GedungPengadilan TIPIKOR) Jakarta Selatan
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 52960894/95
Fax: +62 21-52960904/05

9. Mr. Kahar Muzakir
Chairperson of the Commission III of The House of Representative
Ketua Komisi III DPR RI
Gedung Nusantara II DPR RI, Lt I
JalanJenderalGatotSubroto, Jakarta,
INDONESIA
Telp: +62 21 -5715566, +62 21-5715569, +62 21-5715864
Fax: +62 21 5715566

10. Mr. Abdul Haris Semendawai
Chairperson of the Agency for Victims and Witness Protection
Lembaga Perlindungan Saksi dan Korban (LPSK)
Jalan Raya Bogor KM. 24 No. 47-49, Susukan, Ciracas, RT.6/RW.1, Susukan, Ciracas, Kota Jakarta Timur, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 13750
Tel: +62 21 29681560
Fax: +62 21 29681551/+62 21 29681557

11. Mr. Ahmad Taufan Damanik
Chairperson of the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM)
Jl. Latuharhary No. 4-B
Jakarta 10310
INDONESIA
Tel: +62 21 392 5227-30
Fax: +62 21 392 5227
E-mail: info@komnas.go.id

12. Professor H. Muhammad Hatta Ali, SH, MH
The Chair of the Indonesian Supreme Court
Mahkamah Agung RI
Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara No 9-13
Tel: +62 21 3843348, +62 21 3810350, +62 21 3457661
Fax: + 62 21 3453553, +62 21 3454546
Jakarta 10110
INDONESIA

Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (ua@ahrc.asia)

Source: http://www.humanrights.asia/news/urgent-appeals/AHRC-UAU-002-2018.

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