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Orangutan DNA

Hardi Baktiantoro | April 18, 2012


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Dear Orangufriends, 

            For the first time of Indonesia law history, the judge found guilty of the charge of killing orangutans (although it is too late, after the crime against orangutans happened in 10 years with the number of victims 2.400 – 12.000 orangutans).

The sentence is too light, the managers of the plantation as the masterminds faced 8 months in jail with a rupiah 30 million fine, and the executors in the field to be imprisoned for 8 months in jail with a rupiah 20 million fine. As the giant company, Metro Kajang Holdings (MKH) Berhad belongs to Malaysia, the fine that they have to pay is only a piece of cake and the prison sentence is not equal to the crime against orangutans. The fact that, they were not only killing the orangutans, but also other species, these were the result from forest clearing for oil palm plantation at Muara Kaman in East Kalimantan.

            Ideally, the judge convicted the maximum penalty in accordance with the 1990 Conservation of Biodiversity and Ecosystems Law, the criminals could be sentenced up to five years in jail with a fine of rupiah 100 million. Based on this, the Orangufriends had worked hard to sway the trial process by conducting a rally outside the Attorney General’s Office in Jakarta, 13rd of April 2012, after we received the information that the prosecutor only required the defendants a year in prison. The Orangufriends also conducted a rally outside the Tenggarong District Court to call the judges to be brave when facing with those who were not happy with the supremacy of law in Indonesia.   

The supporters of MKH Berhad, perhaps their lawyers, tried to pressure the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) to withdraw their campaigns, the reason was the evidence in the court were not strong. They said that COP had been fooled by the news in the media and they considered that COP’s movement was not purely to protect this endangered animals. However, COP chose to ignore and not to compromise. COP continued to move on forward. COP has reasons to keep on going.

At 6 pm on 18th April, the supporters of MKH Berhad sent an anger short message: they should NOT FIND GUILTY, but because COP’s massive campaign so the judges found guilty. For some reason, he was so convince that the MKH Berhad would win at the court.


The light sentence could be seen as the defeat of our hard work, but we could see it as a victory. From this case, we could learn many things, how is the campaign could imprison the perpetrators of crimes against the orangutans and their habitat. Previously, it was almost impossible to imprison them. WE HAVE MADE SOMETHING IMPOSSIBLE TO POSSIBLE IN INDONESIA. DEAR ORANGUFRIENDS, WE ALL ARE WRITING HISTORY.


My dear Orangufriends, there are two ongoing cases at the court. Let’s send them into jail. There is still one more company that we hold their evidence in a crime against orangutans. We will not forget their crimes, we will not forgive them.



Founder of COP

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