Crack down on deforestation – not on Climate Defenders
Dear President Yudhoyono,
Over the past few weeks – Greenpeace has been carrying out peaceful activities in Riau’s Kampar Peninsula – to highlight rainforest and peatland destruction – in support of your commitment to reduce Indonesia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Most of Indonesia’s emissions come from deforestation, which has driven it to become the third biggest climate polluter on the planet. Yet, in spite of your commitment, the Provincial Government of Riau, with the aid of the police, are arresting and deporting our activists as well as members of the press in the area — rather than cracking down on the destructive forest operations that are a root of the climate crisis.
On November 16th, Indonesian police detained two Greenpeace activists from Italy and Germany and two independent journalists from India and Italy, all of whom were traveling on valid business and journalist visas. They were on their way to meet villagers of Teluk Meranti, who have been supporting Greenpeace efforts there to protect the rainforest and defend the climate. The police also forcibly removed a Belgian activist from the Greenpeace Climate Defenders Camp in Riau and took him into custody. After intensive interrogations, two of the activists and both journalists are now being deported. Eleven other people from Greenpeace were also deported at the start of the week.
Mr. President, in the interest of the environment and human rights, I am calling upon you to stop these ongoing intimidation tactics being used against peaceful environmental activists and independent media. Furthermore, I urge you to take immediate action to halt deforestation and peatland destruction in Indonesia as a matter of utmost urgency, so that you show world leadership in the run up to the UN Copenhagen Climate Summit this December.