Thursday, 6 December 2007

Indonesia: arrested for speaking truth

Picture: Neil Tangri's book "Waste Incineration: A Dying Technology" on
from Annie Leonard's blog The Story of Stuff
Indonesian police arrested three environmentalists, Gigie Cruz from the Phillipines, Shibu Nair from India, and Neil Tangri from the USA, on 1 Dec 2007. They were en route to the historic UN Framework on Climate Change COP-13 conference in Bali this week where many eco-activists are urging informed and positive action. They were going to hold a Zero Waste for Zero Warming educational forum at the conference.

Invited to a 2000-strong public meeting in Bandung opposing construction of a huge garbage incinerator for the city, they were arrested after speaking about resultant pollution and explaining green alternatives. Their passports were seized, they were subjected to lengthy interrogation, and were asked to sign a document in Bahasa Indonesia, a language which they could not read.

Since then they have sent text messages reporting that no formal charges have been brought and they are not in physical danger. But they continue to be detained, and will likely be deported.

Alerted by email, within an hour of their arrest, activists in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe flooded Indonesian embassies with messages calling for the safe release of the three Zero Waste experts. Those already at COP-13 contacted Indonesian government officials all the way up to the President.

Says Annie Leonard, "I am just glad my friends are safe. I’m also grateful to be part of a growing global civil society movement seeking both environmental sustainability and social justice... I look forward to that day that people aren’t jailed for speaking the truth about... the environment, community health and the climate." For updates see

PS: and other NGOs urge 1,000,000 citizens around the world to march online and in person on Saturday, 8 Dec 2007, demanding that their elected representatives at Bali begin work on a binding climate treaty to replace Kyoto. According to George Monbiot in the 4 Dec 07 Guardian, "The Kyoto Protocol, whose replacement the Bali meeting will discuss, has failed. Since it was signed, there has been an acceleration in global emissions: the rate of carbon dioxide production exceeds the IPCC's worst case and is now growing faster than at any time since the beginning of the industrial revolution."

No comments: