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Amnesty International reports 63% rise in attacks on human rights defenders in 2023

Kompas - February 1, 2024

Dani Prabowo, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia has recorded that 268 human rights defenders were victims of attacks throughout 2023, and that they came from a variety of backgrounds including women rights, environmental and indigenous community activists.

According to Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid, the number of attacks against human rights activists in 2023 increased by 63 percent compared with the previous year (168).

"And (the number of attacks in 2023) was the highest since 2019", said Hamid in a written release received by Kompas.com on Thursday February 1.

The types of attacks were varied. Amnesty found that there were 128 people who were arrested, 95 who suffered intimidation and physical attacks, 41 who were criminalised, three who survived murder attempts and one human rights institution that was attacked.

The most common target of attacks in 2023 were Papuan activists (103), journalists (89), farmers (31) and members of indigenous communities (24).

If compared with previous years, there were 125 attacks in 2019, 235 attacks in 2020, 237 attacks in 2021, 168 attacks in 2022 and 268 attacks in 2023.

"Ahead of the elections (2024), Amnesty is urging the authorities not to further narrow the space for citizens to criticise, [express] opposition and protest as an expression of concern about the country", said Hamid.

"This includes development projects without consultation with the communities impacted upon", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Amnesty International Indonesia Ungkap 268 Pembela HAM Diserang Sepanjang 2023".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2024/02/01/19424771/amnesty-international-indonesia-ungkap-268-pembela-ham-diserang-sepanjan