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Sangihe Island activists protest 'wrongful arrest' of local fisherman

Tempo - July 4, 2022

M Faiz Zaki, Jakarta – One of the Save Sangihe Island activists, Jull Takaliulang on Sunday said that the group will pay a visit to the Indonesian National Police (Polri) main headquarters to clarify a situation they believe is an attempt to criminalize a resident of the island that protested against the Sangihe gold mining project.

As widely reported in previous months, widespread protests from Sangihe Island residents emerged over a gold mining project conducted by a mining company, which they took to the Manado state administrative court (PTUN) over allegations of land exploitation by PT TMS. The court verdict ended the project and revoked the mining permit but the struggle continues even after a court verdict was produced.

One of the island's residents apprehended by local police, according to Jull, is Robinson who he believes should have not been arrested as the situation surrounding his arrest, he asserts, is pinned down to a misunderstanding.

"We arrive at the National Police main headquarters to explain the situation and assert fairness in law enforcement," said Jull in an interview with Tempo on July 3. Robinson is currently placed in jail at the Sangihe Island Police sector.

According to him, the situation is already critical, and he chose not to report to the North Sulawesi Police because the local police have yet followed up on residents' report against illegal mining activities that was filed last year.

"We are already hopeless seeing the stance taken by the Sangihe Police" he added.

Robinson was arrested on June 27 after police issued an arrest warrant against him, whom police detained over allegations of possessing a lethal weapon in the form of a knife.

The Save Sangihe Island Coordinator Alfred Pontolodo suspects police had mistaken Robinson's intent upon bringing a knife to a mass protest, which locals argue is a common tool often brought by fishermen to sea. He also claims Robinson never brandished his knife and was found because it accidentally fell from his holster.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1608409/sangihe-island-activists-protest-wrongful-arrest-of-local-fisherma