In the early hours of 7 March, the Jakarta office of Wahana Lingkungan Indonesia (Walhi), Indonesia’s oldest environment-focused NGO, received an unexpected visit from the police along with several men in plain clothes. One introduced himself as the chief of police of Central Kalimantan. They had come with an arrest warrant for two men named James Watt and Dedi Susanto, who had both previously been summoned by the authorities as witnesses in a palm fruit theft case.
The Central Kalimantan police had also named two farmers as suspects in the case: 35-year-old Hermanus and 27-year-old Dilik. Both men are members of the Sahai Hapakat Farm Group of Penyang Village, located in the Kotawaringin Timur District of Central Kalimantan Province. They were arrested while harvesting palm fruit on 17 February by security officers of PT. Hamparan Masawit Bangun Persada (HMBP)—a palm oil company subsidiary of Best Group International—with the aid of the Mobile Brigade Corps (Brimob).
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