URGENT ACTION ALERTPublished by MAC on 2006-04-17
URGENT ACTION ALERT
17th April 2006
FREE THE DETAINED AND STOP THE SHOOTINGS AND REPRESSION OF PEOPLE WHO OPPOSE MINING IN AN INDONESIAN PROTECTED FOREST
On Sunday, March 26, 2006, seven people were injured, two seriously, with gunshot wounds in a sweeping operation by the Sumbawa District Police. The Police were looking for those who burned Newmont Nusa Tenggara's exploration camp in the Dodo Rinti protected forest on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. Thirteen people have been detained, including one with gunshot wound. Police refuse to disclose the health status of the two victims in serious condition.
According to a local newspaper, the Sumbawa chief police AH Musarif was removed from his current position following the incident. Indonesian human rights and environmental organizations (JATAM, WALHI, KONTRAS, TAPAL) condemned the excessive and repressive actions against the villagers taken by the Sumbawa District Police, and are calling for an investigation of AH Musarif's involvement in the March 26 shootings. During the following week, university students rallied and demonstrated in support of the villagers, and four people from these protests were also detained and questioned by police.
Since starting exploration in the Elang Dodo area two years ago, Newmont Nusa Tenggara, owned in majority by the American gold mining giant Newmont Mining Corporation, has caused destruction to the local environment and people's livelihoods. Before Newmont came to the area, the local people made a living from forest products such as honey, candlenut, and palm sugar. Since exploration began in the protected forest of Dodo (5,100 ha) and Rinti (7,539 ha), the water supply has significantly decreased. Some plantations such as rice, yellow squash, and cucumber have been decimated due to drought.
The people of Indonesia have a right to reject mining on their land. They have a right to a healthy environment and a secure livelihood. They have a right to defend their safety and security, their family and their environment.
Please send a letter of solidarity and protest stating the following:
1. Your support to the people of Ropang Village who reject Newmont Mining Co's exploration in the Dodo Rinti protected forest on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. The villagers are struggling to stop the destruction of their environment and livelihoods.
2. Call for the release of the thirteen people detained by Sumbawa District Police on unclear charges, an end to all repressive actions to silence dissent against mining in the area, and an investigation into the Sumbawa District Police actions and shootings on March 26, 2006.
3. Newmont must be held accountable for the damage it has caused to the environment and local livelihoods.
Send your letter to the following addresses:
1. Wawan Hendrawan, Chief of West Nusa Tenggara Provincial Police
Fax Number: +62 370-642243
2. Abdul Hakim Musarif, Chief of Sumbawa District Police
Fax No. +62 371-22709/ 21010
3. Abdul Hakim Garuda Nusantara, Head of Indonesian Commission for Human Rights
Fax: +62 21-3925227
4. Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources
Fax: +62 21-8297642
6. Sutanto, Chief of Indonesian Police
Fax: +62 21-7218021
JATAM (Mining Advocacy Network)
Jl. Mampang Prapatan II, No. 30
RT 04/07 Jakarta Selatan
Phone: +62(0) 79181683
Fax: +62(021) 7941559
Thank you for taking a stand for environmental protection and indigenous peoples' rights with the courageous residents of Ropang Village and surrounding areas.
Paula Palmer, Executive Director
PO Box 7490
Boulder CO 80306 USA
Global Response organizes effective international letter-writing campaigns to protect the environment and the rights of indigenous peoples. See action alerts for adults, teens and children at www.globalresponse.org.