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[Joint Analysis] Refusing Silence: A joint analysis on the situation of Human Rights Defenders

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Over the past two years, human rights defenders (HRDs) have faced unprecedented challenges in Asia, where existing risks were exacerbated, while new threats have emerged. Governments enacted and used repressive laws, online harassment became widespread, and Asian HRDs have seen their families and loved ones increasingly subjected to harassment and threats. The COVID-19 pandemic has also significantly increased violations against defenders, and created new challenges for them to safely conduct their work.

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and the Commission for Disappeared Persons and Victims of Violence (KontraS) presented a joint analysis, “Refusing Silence: A joint analysis on the situation of Human Rights Defenders”, as part of a collaboration in documenting cases of violations against human rights defenders in Asia, and particularly in Indonesia since 2020.

*It is important to note that throughout this report, there are differences in numbers of cases and numbers of HRDs affected, especially with data collected before 2020, due to differences in documentation methodology. This analysis intends to present and examine the pattern of violations against HRDs and might not reflect the actual numbers of violations happening on the ground, which is likely higher than the cases documented here.


For the full PDF version of this analysis in English, click here

For the full PDF version of this analysis in Bahasa Indonesia, click here


About the organisations: 

  • The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) is a network of 82 member organisations across 23 countries, mainly in Asia. Founded in 1991, FORUM-ASIA works to strengthen movements for human rights and sustainable development through research, advocacy, capacity development and solidarity actions in Asia and beyond. It has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and consultative relationship with the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. The FORUM-ASIA Secretariat is based in Bangkok, with offices in Jakarta, Geneva and Kathmandu.
  • Komisi untuk Orang Hilang dan Korban Tindak Kekerasan (KontraS), which was established on March 20, 1998, is a task force formed by a number of civil society organizations and community leaders. KontraS reaffirmed its vision and mission to participate in the defend for democracy and human rights together with other civil society movement entities. More specifically, all the potential and energy possessed by KontraS are directed to encourage the development of the characteristics of a system and state life that is civil and political away from the violence approaches. Both approaches to violence are born from the principles of militarism as a political system, behavior, and culture.