On January 07, 2004, a peaceful protest by communities members in North Maluku, Indonesia, at the PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals ended in tragedy, as Brimob shot and killed one, and arrested hundreds and subjected them to further police brutality. 850 people from the Kao and Malifut communities were involved in a demonstration in the Toguraci protected forest where illegal mining activities have been undertaken by PT NHM, a company 90% owned by Newcrest of Australia.
The communities were met on-site by approximately 100 members of the BRIMOB, acting as security for the mining company, who shot at the protestors killing one on site, and rounding up 250 for questioning at the company security post, where they were beaten. Six remain under arrest at the North Maluku police office in Ternate.
PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals/Newcrest (Australia) has been conducting land clearing, without a permit, on the Toguraci protected forest since May, in clear violation of Indonesian Forest Law 41/1999, which bans open-cut mining in protected areas.
Therefore we, The Solidarity for the Kao and Malifut Communities, hereby :
- Condemn the brutal action perpetrated by the BRIMOB commander, Badarudin/IPDA, with approximately 100 of his personnel. It is a gross human rights violation against Indonesian citizens;
- Urge the Indonesian Police Chief, General Da’i Bachtiar, to immediately withdraw all security from Halmahera, North Maluku; release those unlawfully arrested; and return the body of the murdered to his family;
- Urge the Indonesian Police Chief, General Da’i Bachtiar, to fire the BRIMOB commander, Badarudin/IPDA, North Maluku Police Chief Andi B. Sky; Kao District Chief of Police Alex Hutaubun/IPTU; and prosecute all parties involved in the violence;
- Urge the National Human Rights Commission to immediately send an investigation team to the mining site PT. NHM/Newcrest;
- Urge the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI), the local government, and all parties to maintain objectivity in the conflict between the community and PT NHM/Newcrest, and not divert it as an religion/ethnic issue;
- Urge the central government to order PT. NHM/Newcrest to leave North Maluku.
Solidarity for Kao and Malifut Communities, North Maluku:
LBH Rakyat, ELSAM, TAPAL, KONTRAS, AMAN, SKEPHI, PBHI, TAPAK Ambon, Kao and Malifut Communities, and Coalition against Mining in Protected Areas (JATAM; WALHI; ICEL; WWF Indonesia; Kehati; PELANGI; Forest Watch Indonesia; Mineral Policy Institute; POKJA PSDA; Jaring Pela)
Nur Hidayati — (WALHI – Friends of the Earth Indonesia)– +62-(0)812 99 72 642 /+62-21-794 1672
Siti Maimunah – (Mining Advocacy Network-JATAM) — +62-(0)815 9290370 /+62-21-791 81683
Igor O’Neill – (Mineral Policy Institute, Australia) — +62-(0)812 8612286 /+62-21-791 93363
Ikono — (from the Kao and Malifut communities) — +62-(0)816 811513