Foreign environmental activists threatened with deportation

Source – December 3, 2007
Foreign environmental activists threatened with deportation (Tribune)
Foreign environmental activists threatened with deportation (Tribune)

Erna Mardiana, Bandung – Three foreign environmental activists, who have been in Bandung (West Java) municipal district police detention since Sunday afternoon, have been threatened with deportation. The three foreign nationals are Maria Virginia Cruz from the Philippines, Neil Tangri from the United States and Shibu K Nair from India.

According to their lawyer Yogaswara, they have been charged under Articles 42 and 50 of the Immigration Law. Article 42 reads that the immigration department will take measures against foreigners in the territory of Indonesia who undertake activities that threaten public security and order or fail to respect prevailing laws.

According to Article 50 meanwhile, foreigner who intentionally misuse or undertake activities that are not in line with the immigration permit that they have been given, can be jailed for a maximum of five years or incur a fine of as much as 25 million rupiah.

“Under Article 42, they are threatened with deportation. This articles isn’t precise, how did they endanger the state? They were just sharing their experiences about waste [management]”, said Yogaswara when speaking with journalists at the Bandung district municipal police headquarters on Jl. Jawa on Monday December 3.

Meanwhile an activists from Global Alliance Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA) Indonesia who is also being questioned, Yuyun Ismawati, said that the three foreign nationals had refused to sign the police interrogation reports (BAP) because they were written in Indonesian.

“Since last night we have been asking that the BAP be written in English. They should be respected as foreign citizens”, said Ismawati.

Ismawati added that a lot of support has come from environmental activists from other countries, including among others the Philippines and Malaysia, who have sent faxes directly to the Bandung municipal district police.

“Now the world knows about it. They only came here just to share their experiences about waste management”, said Ismawati.

The three are activists from the non-government organisation GAIA who came to Indonesia to attended the Climate Change Conference in Nusa Dua, Bali, which is to start today. (ern/djo)

[Translated by James Balowski.]