Friends of the Earth sends condolences for slain Indonesia palm oil activist

Friends of the Earth sends condolences for slain Indonesia palm oil activist

Friends of the Earth sends condolences for slain Indonesia palm oil activist

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This weekend, Indonesian activist Jopi Peranginangin, a tireless campaigner against unbridled oil palm expansion, was killed outside a nightclub in Jakarta. 

Friends of the Earth is deeply sorry to learn of Jopi’s murder, and we send our condolences to Jopi’s family, friends and colleagues at Sawit Watch, Walhi/Friends of the Earth Indonesia, Greenpeace Indonesia and AMAN, organizations where he worked for many years.

Jopi Peranginangin, 39-years-old, was head of campaigns for Sawit Watch, which campaigns for social and ecological justice in the palm oil industry. As Mongabay reports, it is not clear whether the attack was related to Jopi’s activism or was the spontaneous result of a disagreement.

The head of Sawit Watch’s environmental department, Carlo Nainggolan, said Jopi’s friends and colleagues were waiting for the police investigation to determine whether the assault was premeditated. 

Globally, 116 environmental activists were murdered in 2014, including two in Indonesia, according to Global Witness. From 2002 to 2014, eight Indonesian activists were slain. 

Jopi previously worked for Greenpeace as well as AMAN and Sawit Watch and was a member of pro-democracy groups around the time of the fall of the dictator Suharto in the late 1990s. He was born in North Sumatra province in Kisaran, “a city besieged by giant oil palm plantations owned by conglomerates,” he wrote.  

In a recent blog post, Jopi said the rush to expand palm oil plantations was “causing land conflicts, marginalizing indigenous communities, destroying forest biodiversity, criminalizing farmers — extra-serious excesses that are erupting everywhere”. 

Photo: Slain activist Jopi Peranginangin surveys an illegal oil palm plantation whose trees have been uprooted in Aceh as part of a local government campaign earlier this year. Photo credit: Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP 


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