Human rights

Down to Earth No 65  May 2005

Status of the project

The 'final investment decision' to proceed with Tangguh came on March 7th, after many delays. The construction phase of the US$5 billion project is now expected to start in late 2005. Tangguh will be operational in 2008, with two full gas production units or 'trains' (Reuters7/Mar/05, TIAP 2004).

Down to Earth No 65  May 2005

An NGO report shows how West Papua's rich, extensive forests are being stripped to satisfy China's demand for timber. The Indonesia government, keen to demonstrate to the international community that it is taking illegal logging and timber smuggling seriously, responded by promising action against corrupt military, police and forestry personnel.

Down to Earth No 64  2005

Indonesia owes around US$1.76 billion to the British government. While it is true that this represents just a small fraction of the overall external debt of US$132 billion, it is still a significant sum, far outstripping, for example, the $96 million that the UK government has pledged to the tsunami aid effort.

Most of Indonesia's debt to the UK (US$1.408bn) is in the form of export credit facilities, owed to Britain's Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD). The ECGD underwrites Indonesian contracts with private UK companies.

Down to Earth No 63  November 2004

The indigenous Amungin human rights defender, Yosepha Alomang, grew up in the shadow of the huge Freeport/Rio Tinto gold and copper mine and under Indonesian military oppression in West Papua.

Down to Earth No 63  November 2004

Munir poisoned

In November it was revealed that leading Indonesian human rights defender, Munir, who died in September whilst on a flight from Indonesia to the Netherlands, was poisoned with arsenic. Indonesian and international colleagues have expressed shock at the news that Munir was murdered. Munir - an outspoken critic of the military, was co-founder of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial).

Down to Earth No 62   August 2004

Community holds Newmont to account
Villagers from Buyat Bay, North Sulawesi have lodged complaints with the police over the devastating health impacts of Newmont Minahasa Raya's gold mine. At least 30 people are believed to have died as a result of the heavy metal pollution caused by the mine, which dumps tailings on the sea-bed.

Down to Earth No 61  May 2004


Aceh Papua Solidarity (SAP), a group which includes political activists from the democratic movement, said it rejected the results of the elections in Aceh and Papua because they were legally flawed and did not conform to the principles of democracy.

The Indonesia human rights campaign, Tapol, predicted that military operations in Aceh and West Papua would make a free and fair outcome o