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Environmental campaigner Natalie Lowrey was released unconditionally on police bail on Friday, in Malaysia. She is free to return home in Australia as long as the police do not press charges before she leaves. Natalie is quite confident it’s not going to happen and it is likely she will be home by Wednesday.
Last Friday, SAM - Friends of the Earth Malaysia and Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) expressed in a press release a huge thank you to everyone around the world who supported the petition for Natalie’s release.
Natalie is an environmental campaigner who was arrested by the Malaysian police for taking part in a peaceful demonstration against the Lynas Corporation on Sunday, 22 June in Gebeng, Pahang state. She was held at the Kuantan district Police Headquarters, in the same state, until Friday.
Real World Radio interviewed Natalie. She has been actively involved in the Stop Lynas Incorporation (SLI) group in Australia for the past three years, and she was in Gebeng on behalf of SLI to lend solidarity and support to the local community.
Lynas Corporation of Australia is a rare earth mining company that owns the Kuantan’s Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP), a rare earth processing plant. SLI has been closely monitoring the activities of the Lynas Corporation in Australia and the LAMP, and it has also been collaborating with local NGOs and communities in Malaysia.
The refinery will be the world’s largest rare earth processing plant. The first shipment of raw materials has arrived from Australia, potentially bringing tonnes of radioactive and toxic waste with long-term effects on the lives and livelihoods of people living in the surrounding areas of Gebeng and the environment.
“We share the grave concerns of SLI and the Malaysian NGOs and local communities that though such rare earth processing would not have been allowed in Australia, it has been approved to be carried out in Malaysia, with potentially devastating impacts for people and the environment”, stated the press release sent out by Sam and FOEI. “Currently, the LAMP has no long-term permanent disposal facility for its radioactive waste and it is far from certain that a disposal site will be available in the foreseeable future”.
Natalie has actively supported local communities in fighting for environmental justice and has been vocal against all or any form of violence, threat and harm to people and the environment. “We also understand that Natalie has cooperated in every way with the authorities”, stated the press release.
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