TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Palangkaraya Immigration Office, Central Kalimantan arrested a foreign journalist and editor of a non-profit environmental science news outlet Mongabay, Philip Jacobson, on Tuesday, January 21. Jacobson is arrested on charges of violating a business visa.
"The immigration office says that his activities in Palangkarya are not following the visa submitted," said the Palangkaraya Legal Aid Institute (LBH), Aryo Nugroho Waluyo, Wednesday, January 22. Jacobson is detained in Palangkaraya Class II Detention Center, he added.
According to Aryo, Jacobson had been in Central Kalimantan since mid-December 2019. At that time, he discussed with Mongabay journalists in Palangkaraya a writing plan about the land dispute between the indigenous peoples and businessmen.
On December 16, 2019, Jacobson with an indigenous rights advocacy group, the Indigenous Peoples Alliance (AMAN) of Palangkaraya chapter, met with the province’s Legislative Council (DPRD) for talks of criminalization case against farmers.
The next day, the immigration officers came to Jacobson's place and held the 30-year-old man's passport and visa. "At that time, Jacobson asked this issue not to be published so that it would quickly be resolved, but in fact, this continues," Aryo added.
Jacobson rang Aryo on Tuesday, January 21, saying that he would undergo inspection. Yet later, the immigration instead arrested the award-winning environmental editor.
Based on the detention letter, Philip Jacobson allegedly violated Article 122a of Law No. 6 of 2011 concerning Immigration. The LBH team together with Pakpahan Hutabarat's law office will continue to advocate for this case, Aryo underlined.
Meanwhile, Mongabay Founder and CEO Rhett A. Butler said he was supporting his journalist in this ongoing case. "We are making every effort to comply with Indonesia’s immigration authorities," said Butler as noted in the Mongabay press release on Wednesday, January 22. "I am surprised that immigration officials have taken punitive action against Philip over administrative matters."