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3 May 2020

Walhi Jatim

Rejoinder by civil society group WALHI to Merdeka Copper Gold's response

This is an unofficial translation by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, the full rejoinder is available in Indonesian below.

In responding to Merdeka Copper Gold’s statement, we state that the incident [that took place on 27-28 March 2020] was a riot, not an attack carried out by the anti-mining residents. The clash was caused by the provocation carried out by the pro-mining residents/workers towards the anti-mining group and the violence that was perpetrated by the authorities when dispersing the anti-mining protest.

On 27 March 2020, the Government urged [the anti-mining residents] to close the "mining resistance struggle tent” as a way of curbing the spread of the COVID-19, while allowing the PT BSI to continue operating... The anti-mining residents (Sumberagung Village) suffered injuries from beatings perpetrated by both the authorities and pro-mining group.

The clash has led to the mobilisation of security forces in large numbers (at least 100 personnel) in Sumberagung village for one week after the incident occurred. Even today (30/4/2020), mining activities continue. Residents are increasingly worried because the continuation of mining activities in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic will bring a number of adverse impacts such as an increase in the spread of the pandemic in Sumberagung village...

The chronology of events on 27-28 March 2020 can be read on the WALHI East Java website: http://walhijatim.or.id/2020/03/kronologi-bentrokan-aksi-warga-tolak-tambang-di-sumberagung-banyuwangi/