Trial Date Announced: 8th July 2024 - Call for international solidarity with Torobulu, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia

a community being criminalized for its opposition to nickel mining

Stop the criminalisation

Co-sign this solidarity letter with the community of Torobulu before Jul 5, 2024

To the Indonesian authorities

Environmental and human rights defenders Haslilin and Andi Firmansyah are being criminalized for speaking out against nickel mining

Demand for nickel is booming due to the energy transition in the countries of the Global North, but nickel mining has a severe impact on local communities.

To supply nickel to the automobile industry, the mining company Wijaya Intan Nusantara Mining (PT WIN), owned by Frans Salim Kalalo, is mining nickel ore only about 100 meters from the village of Torobulu, along the main road. This causes clouds of thick dust that constantly settles on the community and its houses. Two water sources are already unusable and rice fields are ruined. Residents are protesting because they do not want to suffer more landslides and fear that they will continue.

Because of the close proximity to the residential area and the environmental impact, the villagers, the village chief and district chief met with the company and agreed to stop the mining – an agreement that the company did not respect.

On November 6, 2023, Ms. Haslilin (30) and Andi Firmansyah (41), along with other Torobulu residents, approached a PT WIN excavator to ask it to leave the area. They mainly wanted to know whether the activity, which was negatively affecting their lives, was in compliance with the law.

The two aforementioned individuals have already been summoned twice in writing by the Kendari Prosecutor’s Office, Directorate of Special Investigations. They are accused of “obstructing or interfering with mining operations pursuant to Article 162 of the Mining Act in conjunction with Article 55 of the Criminal Code” (Letter S.Pgl/234/VI/RES.5.5./2024/Ditreskrimsus and Letter S.Pgl/235/VI/RES.5.5./2024/Ditreskrimsus dated June 7, 2024).

Torobulu villagers were called to testify before the Southeast Sulawesi Regional Police about the situation in the community, i.e. the opposition to mining activities in the area. On June 12, 2024, hundreds of Torobulu villagers demonstrated in front of the police building in Kendari to protest the criminalization of the two Torobulu villagers and the actions of the Kendari City Prosecutor’s Office.

Muhammad Ansar, a lawyer with the legal aid organization LBH Makassar and legal representative of Haslilin and Andi Firmansyah, explains:

“According to the Constitution, the right to a good and healthy environment is a human right. Furthermore, Article 66 of Law 32/2009 clearly states that anyone who fights for the right to a good and healthy environment cannot be prosecuted under criminal or civil law. Therefore, we believe that the prosecution of Haslilin and Andi is an act of criminalization of two environmental and human rights defenders, which jeopardizes both public participation and the aforementioned constitutional right.

We believe that PT WIN is maliciously trying to silence the people of Torobulu by applying Section 162 of the Minerals and Energy Act. We therefore call on law enforcement agencies, prosecutors and courts to uphold the dignity of the law and not criminalize Ms. Haslilin and Mr. Andi Firmansyah.

In support of Haslilin and Andi Firmansyah, Aliansi Sulawesi, Rainforest Rescue and Yes to Life No to Mining call on organizations dealing with criminalization and similar threats in other parts of the world to sign on to the following demands by July 15th. Please show your solidarity by completing this simple form with name of your organization, your country and your email (the email address will not be published).

The community of Torobulu, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, demands:

1. Stop the criminalization of human rights defenders and environmentalists Andi Firmansyah and Haslilin and other people of Torobulu.

2. Restore the fishers’ right to fish.

3. Immediately stop the destruction of the environment.

4. Give the people of Torobulu back the ability to live in their environment and ecosystems.

5. Revoke PT WIN’s nickel mining license.


“It was previously agreed that there would be no mining for the time being. We went to the bulldozers, mainly to find out if the nickel mining around our residential area is being done according to the regulations. The village chief, the district chief and the residents of Torobulu were present at the meeting,” says Andi Firmansyah.

“We did not go there to block the bulldozer, but to ask why they are still mining, when it was already agreed that both parties would keep a low profile, but the company is still mining nickel ore behind our backs. We don’t want any more landslides, and we need water to survive. Our houses are inundated in dust. This is what mining has brought us so far,” adds Haslilin.

“The fact that Ms. Haslilin and Andi Firmansyah are being prosecuted is absurd. This raises the question of who the law applies to. Instead of being criminalized, they should be protected because together with other Torobulu residents, they are trying to protect the environment for the whole community and save their homeland from the dangers of mining,” says Andi Rahman, Director of Walhi Southeast Sulawesi.

“The people of Torobulu are paying the price for mining, and the environmental damage around Torobulu’s homes is increasing and becoming more visible. If mining continues at the same pace, they can count the days until they are slowly displaced from their community,” says Guadalupe Rodriguez of Rainforest Rescue and Yes to Life No to Mining, who participated in a Toxic Tour organized to study the impacts of nickel mining in Sulawesi late last year.

Co-signed by

Aceh Wetland Foundation, Indonesia
AidWatch Australia, Australia
Alliansi Sulawesi, Indonesia
AMAN Tano Batak, Indonesia
Apel green aceh, Indonesia
Asia Pacific Network for Environment Defenders, Philippines
Associação Unidos em Defesa de Covas do Barroso, Portugal
Bios Iguana A. C., Mexico
CELIOS, Indonesia
Chile Sin Ecocidio, Chile
Coal Action Network, United Kingdom
Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida, Colombia
Comunalisis, Ecuador
Defensa y Conservación Ecológica de Intag, Ecuador
FLIGHT: Protecting Indonesia’s Birds, Indonesia
Forum peduli gunung layung, Indonesia
Frente Nacional Antiminero, Ecuador
Green Youth Movement, Indonesia
Igapo Project, France
Kaoem Telapak, Indonesia
Kedai JATAM, Indonesia
London Mining Network, United Kingdom
Melbourne Rainforest Action Group, Australia
Mesembau Mendiaga Nusa, Indonesia
Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, Canada
Mother Earth, Canada
Observatorio Plurinacional de Salares Andinos OPSAL, Chile
OMASNE, Ecuador
Rainforest Information Centre, Australia
Rainforest Rescue/ Rettet den Regenwald, Germany
Rettet den Regenwald – Schweiz, Switzerland
Salva la Selva, Spain
Sarawak Dayak Iban Assiocation (SADIA MUKAH), Malaysia
Satya Bumi, Indonesia
Save Our Borneo, Indonesia
Save Our Sperrins, Ireland
Selamatkan Hutan Hujan, Indonesia
Si a la Vida, No a la Mineria, Colombia
Sikola Mombine, Indonesia
Snowchange Cooperative, Finland
Surco Comun, Ecuador
The Gaia Foundation, United Kingdom
Trend Asia, Indonesia
Unir en Haití, Mexico
Urai uni, Indonesia
WALHI PAPUA, Indonesia
WALHI Sumatera Utara, Indonesia
Yayasan Pendidikan Lingkungan, Indonesia
Yes to Life No to Mining, United Kingdom