Right to breathe: Jakarta locals win battle against Indonesia government for clean air

WION Web Team
Jakarta, Indonesia Published: Sep 16, 2021, 10:26 PM(IST)

Air pollution in Jakarta Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

In its ruling, the court said the Indonesian government is guilty of committing ‘unlawful acts’ and have failed to impose measures to control rising air pollution in the capital city

In a first, a Jakarta court has ruled that the Indonesian government has failed to uphold citizens’ right to clean air.

The landmark judgment has held the Indonesian government responsible for the smog that has been covering the blue skies of the city recently.

This decision has come two years after 32 citizens of the capital city Jakarta filed a legal lawsuit against the Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Jakarta governor, three cabinet minister and two provincial leaders.

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In its ruling, the court said the Indonesian government is guilty of committing ‘unlawful acts’ and have failed to impose measures to control rising air pollution in the capital city.

"We hope all defendants accept this verdict, because they also live here," Alghiffari Aqsa, the lawyer for the plaintiffs said. "We hope that they abide by this verdict by executing all points through their action and strategic planning."

Citizens have accused the government of being negligent in managing Jakarta’s air pollution. This negligence, citizens claim, have resulted in people struggling with asthma, skin allergies and many other problems.

"Not all of us have the same sensitivities, but there are those experiencing health problems related to the dirty air we breathe," Leonard Simanjuntak, country director for Greenpeace Indonesia said.

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