Indonesian official tries to silence Greenpeace activists, changes course in the face of criticismGlobal Voices

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env in Indonesianironmentalists were embroiled in a conflict this week after the Legal Mafia Eradication Committee, headed by Secretary Husin Shahab, reported two Greenpeace Indonesia activists to police for criticizing deforestation and the environmental policies of President Joko Widodo (Jokowi). Shahab claimed their reviews were bogus and violated Indonesia’s controversial electronic information and transactions (ITE law).

The ITE law is notoriously broad and allows the government to regulate online news in the name of stopping so-called disinformation.

The controversy began on November 2 during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26), where 141 (as of 12 November) signatories, including Jokowi, have signed a commitment to end deforestation by 2030. Within days, Indonesia’s Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said the nation would prioritize economic development over the environment and called the pledge unfair, seemingly backtracking on the environment. Indonesia’s commitment.

On the same day, President Jokowi delivered a speech at the conference in which he appeared to downplay Indonesia’s history of deforestation and environmental impact. “Such a feat is undeniable. “

Greenpeace Indonesia forestry activist Iqbal Damanik responded with saying, “Arguably Jokowi’s claims are all absurd. And Greenpeace Indonesia’s Instagram account has run numerous reports and posts debunking Jokowi’s claims and contrasting them with long-term data, noting that deforestation has more than doubled in the past two decades, from 2.45 million. hectares of forest between 2003-2011 to 4.8 million hectares. from 2011 to 2019.

STOP DEFORESTATION

New research reveals how deforestation threatens the lives of all of us. Regency. Berau, in East Kalimantan, experienced a significant increase in temperature between 2002 and 2018 due to deforestation.

Models of land clearing and extractive development have accelerated the impact of the climate crisis around us. The option that should be chosen immediately is to protect the remaining forests in Indonesia.

Serious government commitment is needed to assess policies that occur in natural forest areas. It’s time to stop destroying the world’s last rainforest stronghold.

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In response, Shahab denounced the presidents of Greenpeace Indonesia, Leonard Simanjuntak and Kiki Taufik, at Polda Metro Jaya, the regional police force in Jakarta. He told CNN Indonesia: “Criticism if it’s true, it’s correct, it’s only criticism. If this is not true, it may be false news. Yes, (reported using the ITE law) because there are several groups who also feel wronged.

The move drew a lot of criticism online.

After the announcement, Greenpeace activists had to report to the police station. Greenpeace Indonesia activist Asep Komarudin told Tempo Indonesia:

We heard about this report from our media partners, and there was no call from the police. We are going to tackle it, even if we are now focusing on the climate crisis which requires concrete actions from the government.

Shahab has since withdrawn his report to avoid “politicization” and innuendo that the government does not welcome criticism.

At a press conference, the director of general criminal investigations of Polda Metro Jaya, Tubagus Ade Hidayat, noted, “After discussions, finally the police report that was made was revoked, he was arrested.” He continued, “He doesn’t want this to be politicized, he doesn’t want this to be seen as an anti-critical form of government, he doesn’t want this problem to happen.”



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