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28 Jan 2018

Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongabay

Indonesia: Court sentences environment defender to 10 months in jail; use of anti-communism law alarms activists

"Indonesian ruling rings alarms over criminalization of environmental defenders," 26 January 2018

Environmental and human rights activists are up in arms over the jailing of a prominent anti-mine protester by an Indonesian court... 

A court in Banyuwangi district...sentenced environmental activist Heri Budiawan to 10 months in jail for allegedly displaying a banner with a hammer-and-sickle logo — the universal standard of communism — during a protest...against a gold mine...

The...charge is based on law from the pre-1998 regime of the late dictator Suharto, under which any public expression of support for communism is punishable with a prison sentence of up to 12 years...

Heri is the first person in Indonesia’s post-Suharto democratic era to be convicted under this draconian law — and perhaps not the last, rights activists warn.