Indonesia: two environmental NGO workers summoned for challenging Prime Minister false claim on deforestationEvent
- Initial Date
- Nov 9, 2021
- Event Description
Two Greenpeace activists in Indonesia were reported to the police over their supposedly unfounded criticism of deforestation happening under the government’s watch.
The activists, Greenpeace Indonesia Head Leonard Simanjuntak and Indonesia Forest Campaign Head Kiki Taufik, were accused of spreading fake news and violating Indonesia’s Information and Electronic Transactions Act (UU ITE) for debunking President Joko Widodo’s deforestation claim.
At the COP26 summit in Glasgow earlier this month, Jokowi said deforestation in Indonesia has declined in recent years. Greenpeace Indonesia later challenged the president’s claim and called it “nonsense,” citing Forestry Ministry data that showed deforestation rising from 2.45 million hectares between 2003 and 2011 to 4.8 million hectares between 2011 and 2019.
The Committee for the Eradication of Mafia of Law Secretary General Husin Shahab took issue with Greenpeace’s criticism.
“Criticize if it’s based on truth. If not, then that’s fake news,” Husin said yesterday of his decision to file the police report against Leonard and Kiki.
The police have not issued any statements on whether or not they will process the complaint.
Husin reportedly registered to run for a legislative seat in East Java in 2019 with the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), which is now part of the government’s coalition of parties. Husin, however, was reportedly dismissed from the party in 2018 for being involved in a polygamous marriage.
Greenpeace Indonesia maintains that its criticism of Jokowi’s claim was based on factual data.
“We will face this complaint, even though we are in the middle of a climate crisis that requires real action from the government,” Greenpeace Indonesia campaigner Asep Komarudin said.
Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Asep Komarudin said his side is ready to face a police report filed by the Cyber Indonesia forum for criticizing President Joko Widodo or Jokowi's speech about deforestation.
“We’ve heard about this report from our media partners, and there has been no call from the police. We will deal with this, even though we are now focusing on the climate crisis which requires concrete action from the government,” Asep told Tempo on Monday, November 15.
Leaders of Greenpeace Indonesia, Leonard Simanjuntak and Kiki Taufik, were reported to Jakarta Metro Police after criticizing the President's speech on deforestation at the World Leaders Summit at the United Nations Climate Change Summit (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland.
Both were reported for criminal acts under the Electronic Information and Transactions or ITE Law. Chairman of Cyber Indonesia Husin Shahab assessed that the environment watchdog submitted false and misleading data on deforestation.
In response to the report, Asep said that Greenpeace is ready to compete with data to prove the data validity. “Greenpeace uses valid, accurate data to the public. We are also ready to have an open debate with the Environment and Forestry Ministry regarding how we analyze it scientifically and intellectually,” he said.
According to Asep, making such a police report might destroy the democratic climate. Criticism of the government should not be responded to by a police report but an open dialogue or debate.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Enactment of repressive legislation and policies
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Environmental rights defender
- NGO staff
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 9 November 2021, Leonard Simanjuntak and Kiki Taufik, heads of respectively Greenpeace Indonesia and Indonesia Forest Campaign, environmental NGOs, were reported to the police by Husin Shahab, Secretary General of the Cyber Indonesia forum under the repressive Information and Electronic Transactions Act for challenging the Prime Minister claim to have reduced deforestation in the country in Jakarta, Indonesia.