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NGO urges Indonesian police to probe missing Lapindo mudflow book author

Publication Date : 25-07-2012


The Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) has called on the Indonesian police to launch a probe into the apparent disappearance of Ali Azhar Akbar, author of the book "Lapindo File: Konspirasi SBY-Bakrie" (Lapindo File: Conspiracy of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono-Bakrie).

The family of Akbar has not yet filed a missing person report, although the author has been missing for a month. Akbar went missing after last making contact with his lawyer, M. Taufik Budiman, shortly before the launch of his book at the Bandung Institute of Technology campus on June 20. Other reports say that Akbar lost contact with Budiman two days before the event.

Akbar is an environmental activist who wrote two previous books about the Lapindo mudflow, "Konspirasi di Balik Lumpur Lapindo: Dari Aktor Hingga Strategi Kotor" (Conspiracy behind Lapindo mudflow: From Actors to Dirty Tricks) published by Galang Pers in 2007 and Lapindo File published by Indopetro Publishing House in May. In his book, Akbar argued that an accident in the drilling activity on May 26, 2006, by Lapindo Brantas Incorporated owned by Golkar Party chairman and tycoon Aburizal Bakrie, was the cause of the mudflow.

An acquaintance of Akbar, Zulkifli S. Ekomei said that a group of people staged a protest during the book launch in Yogyakarta.

Akbar's publisher, Kusairi claimed that the author had received a text message which said "You have to be responsible for your writing and the mudflow victims. I am waiting for you in Bandung."

Akbar once told Budiman that he had received a similar message while filing documents at the Constitutional Court on June 15.

Akbar and his two colleagues filed a judicial review with the Constitutional Court of Law No 4/2012 article 18 on the 2012 revised state budget that allows for the channelling of state funds to deal with the mudflow.


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