“Today, May 15, at 11:00 am in the District Court of Central Jakarta, Dad’s Legal Counsels filed a civil claim against Jane Perlez and the New York Times Company. While talking to my Dad [Richard Ness] yesterday, I asked what prompted him to take this legal action. His response was simple:
“I have watched people in the Buyat community have their livelihoods destroyed. I have seen my friends and colleagues humiliated, questioned and detained by the police, while their wives and children were scared and embarrassed. I have seen my wife and family impacted by all the negative publicity. When I was summoned by the police who intended to arrest me, I had to reassure my wife and tell her, “Honey you have to trust me, I will be back home at some point and rest assured that we have done nothing wrong, we need to face the problem, be strong and we will get through this because truth is on our side”.
I have been accused of harming and causing the death of children, of polluting a bay by my inaction and of causing the devastation of an entire community. While in reality, I and my people had not done any wrong, the waters of Buyat bay were not polluted – in fact the criminal case brought out the facts that the Buyat waters are pristine, the fish in the bay are excellent and abundant, and the people of the region were not harmed by our operations. Yes, it did take 33 months to get the first court ruling in our favor but it’s not over yet. Over the past two and a half years we were reacting and responding to the unfair accusations leveled against us but it may now be our turn to take some action”
Read the rest of the blog post by Eric Ness here: http://www.richardness.org/link.php?link=2&id=69
And here’s a picture of me snorkling at the beautiful Buyat bay a month or so ago.
I am writing a book on the saga – on the campaign to jail Richard Ness.