Indonesia: 100 lawyers prepared to tackle industrial pollution in Sukoharjo

Ganug Nugroho Adi The Jakarta Post 12 Mar 18;

The Indonesian Advocates Association (Peradi) in Surakarta, Central Java, has prepared 100 lawyers to file both criminal and civil lawsuits against textile company PT Rayon Utama Makmur (RUM) over alleged environmental pollution.

The lawyers are calling on the police to immediately investigate the pollution, which affects communities living near the textile factory’s site in Sukoharjo regency.

Previously, the Semarang Legal Aid Institute (LBH) reportedly supported three environmental activists detained by the Central Java Police over their protests against pollution allegedly committed by PT RUM. The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) and the Surakarta Muhammadiyah University’s (UMS) legal division have also conveyed their readiness to give legal assistance to the activists.

As previously reported, Muhammad “Lis” Hisbun Payu, Kelvin Ferdiansyah Subekti and Sutarno were arrested by the police over their alleged involvement in the destruction of assets belonging to PT RUM during a rally on Feb.23.

“We prepared 100 lawyers to file a lawsuit against PT RUM. We have data support from Walhi and UMS’ investigation team,” said Peradi Surakarta chairman Badrus Zaman on Monday.

He said there were two procedures the lawyers could use to submit their lawsuits, namely via a class action or via Walhi. “In principle, we want to ask the government to share responsibilities in the management of environment that has been affected by industrial pollution,” said Badrus.

Sukoharjo residents have launched a string of protests against environmental pollution caused by PT RUM. In some rallies, they called on Sukoharjo regent Wardoyo to close down the textile factory. (ebf)

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