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Jakarta Post

Court declares Jokowi liable for suffering inflicted on thousands by forest fires in 2015

  • Kharishar Kahfi
    Kharishar Kahfi

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, July 22, 2019   /  05:38 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Smoke covers Pontianak in West Kalimantan on the evening of Aug. 23, 2015. The smoke came from a forest fire that had been burning for two weeks.(JP/Severianus Endi)

Indonesia made headlines around the globe in 2015 when the country was engulfed in raging forest and land fires, which spawned thick smoky haze that raised air pollution in Singapore and Malaysia to levels between those considered moderate and unhealthy. The smoke affected a large number of people in the region. A study by Harvard University researchers in 2016 estimated that the 2015 pollution from intense fires located close to population centers caused up to 100,000 premature deaths across Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Local environmentalists also predicted that the disaster caused around half a million cases of acute respiratory infection.  Four years later, the Supreme Court upheld rulings by lower courts in favor of a civil lawsuit that sought to lay the blame on President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and his Cabinet ministers, as well as regional administration...