Deportation of Natalie Lowrey: Government More Interested in Protecting Lynas than the people

Suaram and Himpunan Hijau strongly condemn the arrest, detention and deportation of Natalie Lowrey, the Australia based environmental justice activist that has been campaigning for the closure of Australian company, Lynas Corporation Ltd’s rare earth plant in Kuantan, Pahang. She was deported back to Bali where she flew in from.

Natalie Lowrey arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport last night and was stopped by immigration department on ground that she was black listed from entering Malaysia. However, she was not informed the reason for her being blacklisted.

Natalie Lowrey said she was denied water for a total of 13 hours from the time she arrived in KLIA last night despite requests being made to the immigration officers. The consular officer of New Zealand High Commission had also raised the concern with the immigration department last night and was informed that Natalie Lowrey would be given water soon as they were busy processing her deportation at that time. Obviously this is a lie as the fact was that Natalie was only given water to drink this morning.

We strongly protest against such abuse of power, inhuman and ill-treatment of Natalie Lowrey by the immigration department. Such treatment is unjustified and unwarranted and tainted with clear intent of bad faith to punish Natalie Lowrey.
We are further appalled that the right to legal representation of Natalie Lowrey was also denied in the whole process from the time she was arrested to the time of her deportation as Suaram’s lawyer was denied access to Natalie Lowrey.
Natalie Lowrey was held for a total of 14.5 hours by the immigration at KLIA.

There is absolutely no valid ground for the blacklisting or deportation of Natalie Lowrey. She has been concerned with the radioactive implications of the Lynas rare earth plant on the health of the community in Kuantan and has been campaigning peacefully against Lynas Incorporation, which is a company from Australia where she lives.

The action of the Malaysian government has not only painted a bad light on the country in the international community, but it also exposes that our government is more interested in protecting the Australian company, Lynas Corporation Ltd. rather than the interest and the health of its own people in Kuantan.

Suaram and Himpunan Hijau call on the government to unlist Natalie Lowrey from the blacklist and reiterate our calls to drop charges of the 15 participants of a protest against Lynas on 22 June 2014 and not to grant permanent operating license to Lynas rare earth plant in Kuantan.

Released by,

Yap Swee Seng
Executive Director
SUARAM

Wong Tack
Chairperson
Himpunan Hijau

For inquiry, please kindly contact:

Mr. Yap Swee Seng of SUARAM at +60 12 2015272 or [email protected]

Mr. Wong Tack of Himpunan Hijau at +60 13 8851232 or [email protected]