Indonesian Authorities Deport Greenpeace Activists and Members of the Press

For Immediate Release

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Indonesian Authorities Deport Greenpeace Activists and Members of the Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Greenpeace today condemned
the intimidation tactics used by the Indonesian authorities against
members of the press as well as Greenpeace activists and local
community members who are supporting efforts to prevent forest and
climate destruction in the heart of the rainforest.

The Indonesian authorities are in the
process of deporting four ‘foreign nationals’: two Greenpeace activists
and two members of the press. (1) Three of the ‘foreign nationals’ – an
Italian journalist from l’Espresso, an Indian journalist from the
Hindustan Times and an Italian Greenpeace campaigner – were stopped on
Monday, along with two Indonesian Greenpeace campaigners, while
observing the devastating effects of deforestation on the side of a
public road outside Pekanbaru, Sumatra. They were taken into custody
and questioned throughout the night.

The fourth 'foreign national', a Greenpeace activist from Belgium, was
detained for questioning at the Greenpeace Climate Defenders’ Camp
earlier that day. Greenpeace opened the camp in the Indonesian
rainforest three weeks ago to highlight the central role that
deforestation plays in driving global climate change in the run up to
December’s critical UN Copenhagen Climate Summit.

According to police, the reasons for the deportation, due to occur in
the early hours Wednesday, varies from allegations that the ‘foreign
nationals’ were “about to undertake an illegal activity” to being in
“association with illegal activities”.

Nur Hidayati, Country Representative for Indonesia, Greenpeace
Southeast Asia, said: "Despite having valid travel documents and the
correct visas, these people are being deported from Indonesia by the
Immigration Authorities on questionable, whimsical and seemingly
contrived grounds. They have done nothing wrong.”

"Rather than trying to silence Greenpeace and prevent it from helping
President Yudhoyono achieve the CO2 emissions cuts he has promised by
reducing deforestation, the authorities should be spending their time
tackling the companies that are destroying the forest and driving
global climate change."

Immigration authorities have already deported eleven international
Greenpeace activists who participated in a non-violent direct action at
a site of forest and peatland destruction by APRIL, one of Indonesia’s
largest pulp and paper companies. (2) It also follows an eviction order
by police over the weekend in an attempt to shut down the Climate
Defenders Camp. The order was revoked after mass protests in support of
Greenpeace by local communities. Melanie Laurent, star of Quentin
Tarantino's new film, 'Inglourious Basterds’, has visited the camp and
it has also been supported by Indonesian folk-rock star Iwan Fals. In
addition, the US Ambassador to Indonesia visited the area with
Greenpeace as the camp was opening.

Globally, a million hectares of forests are destroyed every month –
that is an area the size of a football pitch every two seconds. This
emits so much CO2 that deforestation is one of the main causes of
climate change and is responsible for about a fifth of global
greenhouse gas emissions. Indonesia is the world’s third largest
climate polluter, after China and the United States, largely as a
result of emissions from deforestation.

Greenpeace is calling for an end to deforestation globally by 2020 as a key part of the UN climate deal this December.

“We will not be intimidated. We will continue to take action at the
frontline of forest and climate destruction and to call on world
leaders to avert a climate catastrophe by making far deeper emissions
cuts and committing to a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal that
includes the funds needed to end global deforestation at December’s UN
Copenhagen Climate Summit,” concluded Hidayati.

Greenpeace is an independent, global campaigning organisation that acts
to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the
environment, and to promote peace.

Vision, video, photos, report information

In
Asia:
Nur Hidayati, Greenpeace Country Representative, Indonesia: +62 (0)
08129972642
Von Hernandez, Executive Director, Greenpeace Southeast Asia (In
Manila):+63 9175263050
Hikmat Soeritanuwijaya, Media Campaigner - Greenpeace Southeast Asia:
+62 (0) 818930271
In Europe:
Belinda Fletcher, Greenpeace International forest campaigner: +44 (0)
7801212991
Photos, B roll and a video feature package are available from:
Maarten van Rouveroy, Greenpeace International video producer: +31 (0)
646197322
John Novis, Greenpeace International photography: +44 (0) 7801 615 889
Notes to editors:
(1) Press release 17 November, ‘Reporters Without Borders’:
http://www.rsf.org/spip.php?page=article&id_article=35023
(2) On Thursday, several Greenpeace activists unfurled a huge banner in
an area of freshly destroyed rainforest that read: “Obama: you can stop
this”, while others locked themselves to seven digging machines owned
by pulp and paper company, Asia Pacific Resource International Holdings
(APRIL), to prevent it destroying the forest and draining the carbon
rich forest peat soil in order to grow plantations. For further
information please visit: http://www.greenpeace.org/climatedefenders
Background media briefing on Indonesia’s forests and climate change is
available at:
www.greenpeace.org/climatedefenders/rainforests-and-climate-change.

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Independent campaigning organization that uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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