Penan rebuild blockade

April 3, 2007

This page was created in 2007 and may contain language which is now outdated.

Members of the Penan tribe have rebuilt their logging blockade, a month after it was dismantled by police and loggers.

The Penan have been blockading the logging road to stop the Malaysian logging giant, Samling, from destroying one of the last remaining areas of pristine rainforest left in Sarawak.

The Penan rely on this forest for their food and all their needs; without it they cannot survive as an independent and self-sufficient people.

The Penan have told the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) that they will continue to block the road in order to protect their ancestral land.

'They want to log on our land. We will not allow that', the Penan delegation told Suhakam officials at a meeting in the town of Miri last week.

The Penan believe that unless they defy the loggers all the remaining forest in the area will be gone in two years. Samling have already cut down much of the Penan's rainforest. 

In June 2006 the Malaysian authorities announced that they would remove the blockade, near the community of Long Benali, and arrest four Penan leaders. However, after protests by Survival supporters and others around the world, they took no action. The blockade was finally dismantled on February 7th, 2007, amid international condemnation.