Three residents of Sukarela Jaya Village, Sub-district of South-East Wawonii, Konawe Islands Regency, South-East Sulawesi Province were captured by police officers from South-East Sulawesi Regional Police.

The residents were La Dani , also called asAnwar (M, Hurlan (M), ​​and Hastoma (M), captured on Monday, 24 January 2022 around 13.30 WITA. Anwar and Hastoma were captured in their own garden, when they were having meals. Meanwhile, Hurlan was captured at his home.

Until this moment, the reason of the capture of those three residents of the small island of Wawonii remains unknown. According to other residents, they were on a sail, using the police’s speedboat heading to South-East Sulawesi Regional Police office in Kendari.

As commonly known, Anwar,  Hastoma, and Hurlan are parts of the residents who reject the mining activities in Wawonii Islands. Residents, who depend their economic activities mostly on agriculture and sea, are against the plan of nickel extraction by PT Gema Kreasi Perdana (GKP), subsidiary of Harita Group.

The residents’ persistence in rejecting the nickel mine led to threats, intimidation, and criminalization, and even 28 residents were reported to the police by the company in 2019.

Those residents were accused with various accusations and tended to be fabricated, ranging from allegation of obstructing mining company activities, allegation of depriving someone’s independence, accusation of threats, and accusation of persecutions.

Meanwhile, Anwar, Hastoma, and Hurlan, who were arrested by the police today, Monday (24/01/22), are among the 28 residents who were previously reported to the police on August 23, 2019. The accusations against them at that time were related to the alleged crime of depriving a person of liberty, as stated in Article 333 of the KUHP.

The capture of Anwar,  Hastoma, dan by the police today, following the criminalization of the residents of Wawonii in 2019, can be seen as a form of arrogance from mining corporation and the police who are often show up as the guard of oligarchy.

The capture of those who reject the mining activity should be read as an effort of the state through police institution and corporation to repress the residents’ resistance in order to let the mining investment plan running smoothly.

This presumption is getting stronger, considering that the police tend to conspire with the corporation that commit environmental crimes and violate human rights. In the relation to PT GKP, for instance, in 2019, the corporation intruded residents’ lands.

Firstly, on Tuesday 9 July 2019, around 11.00 WITA, PT GKP broke through land owned by a resident named Marwah. The second case was on Tuesday 16 July 2019 around 15.00 on the land of Idris. Thirdly, on Thursday, 22 August 2019, at mid-night, they repeated to intrude the land of Amin, Wa Ana, and the late Labaa.

These repeated lands intrusions, which caused damage to plants such as cashew nut, coconut, nutmeg, clove and other plants, were guarded by the police instead.

On the other hand, reports from residents to the police regarding the intrusion of community-owned land by PT GKP have not been processed, they just abandoned. One of the residents of Konawe Islands on behalf of Idris, for example, reported PT GKP to the Kendari Resort Police on Wednesday, August 14 2019. Idris reported it to the police because his land and crops were damaged by PT GKP on Tuesday, 16 July 2019


Therefore, we demand:

  1. Urge the South-East Sulawesi Police to release La Dani (Anwar), Hurlan, and Hastomo;
  2. Urge the National Police Chief to stop all forms of criminalization of residents who reject mining activities on Wawonii Island;
  3. Urge the government of President Joko Widodo to carry out the mandate of Article 66 Law No. 32/2009 concerning the Protection and Management of the Environment Act, stated that everyone who fights for the right to a good and healthy environment cannot be prosecuted criminally or be sued in a private case.*


Contact Person:

  • LBH Kendari – La Ode Muh. Suhardiman – +62 822-7130-6544
  • LBH Makassar – Muh Syahid – +62 852-4070-7457
  • JATAM – Muhamad Jamil – +62 821-5647-0477
  • YLBHI – Zainal Arifin – +62 813-9128-2443
  • KontraS – Helmy Hidayat Mahendra – 081259269754
  • KIARA – Vikerman Saragi – ​​+62 823-6596-7999
  • FNKSDA – Roy Murtadho – +62 822-3344-9177