Friday, June 21, 2024 | 14:29 WIB

Amnesty Internasional urges govt to release Budi Pego

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Jakarta, IO – Amnesty International Indonesia blasted the arrest of Heru Budiawan, alias Budi Pego, activist against the Tumpang Pitu gold mine in Banyuwangi, East Java, Friday (24/3).

Amnesty International Indonesia executive director Usman Hamid said the arrest is epitome of the government’s efforts to try silence those who seek to protect the environment. According to Usman, it has even tainted the judiciary. Usman alleged Budi Pego was arrested because he has been critical of the gold mine project in his community, reported CNN Indonesia, Monday (27/3).

Usman said the arrest aimed to create a deterrent effect against those who disagree with the official policies, especially human rights defenders, environmental activists and local communities who strive to save and protect the environment from destruction caused by mining.

Usman said the arrest also run counter to the government messaging, conveyed in various national and international forums, which repeatedly called for everyone to take part in efforts to save the environment.

“We urge that Budi Pego be immediately released unconditionally and be allowed to have a fair trial, be given access to legal assistance and allowed to see his family. Peaceful freedom of expression is not a crime,” stated Usman.

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