Responding to acts of intimidation and threats against Greenpeace’s activists who campaigned for climate crisis in a cycling trip prior to the G20 Summit in Bali, Amnesty International Indonesia deputy director Wirya Adiwena said today:
“This incident is yet another proof of Indonesian authorities’ lack of commitment to human rights including the promotion and protection of the rights of human rights defenders. Authorities should ensure human rights and activists are not forced to sign a statement to stop their activities and campaign during the G20 Summit, which is a form of silencing critical voices”
“Security concerns surrounding the G20 Summit should not be used as a pretext to justify any impermissible restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. The G20 member countries, including host country Indonesia, should ensure the protection of the rights of everyone to peaceful criticism and protests.”
“Indonesian authorities should also promptly, thoroughly, impartially, independently, transparently, and effectively undertake an investigation into the allegation and guarantee and ensure that all human rights defenders and activists are able to exercise their human rights and can continue with their peaceful campaigning activities without any fear of threats, intimidation, attacks, and criminalization.”
“Authorities must end restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and take effective measures to ensure the safety of human rights defenders and activists, and encourage them to carry out their activities including during the G20 Summit.”
Greenpeace activists involved in “Chasing the Shadow” cycling team, who campaigned for climate crisis as they toured from Jakarta with the final destination in Bali, where the G20 Summit is to take place on 15-16 November 2022, were subjected to acts of threats, intimidation and harassment since they were in Semarang City, Central Java, according to information obtained by Amnesty International from Greenpeace.
During their trip across Central Java Province to East Java Province, local authorities heavily monitored the team’s movement and their activities. The team found that their cars were tailed and people who were allegedly linked to security forces also lingered within their hotels’ premises. The police also complicated the procedures to issue a permit for their event in Surabaya, East Java, and requested for plain clothes officers to be able to enter the event.
In separate incidents, two of the cars used by the Greenpeace team were hit by unidentified persons. One of the cars was damaged after being hit by a motorcycle that a witness alleged had a red license plate, which suggested a government-owned vehicle. At least four activists had their WhatsApp account hacked between 5-6 November.
On 7 November, members of local organizations who claimed to be representatives of Probolinggo citizens staged a protest in front of the hotel where the activists were staying in Probolinggo city, East Java. They forced the Greenpeace activists to sign a statement saying that Greenpeace will stop their activities and campaign during the G20 Summit in Bali.
Between January 2019 and May 2022, Amnesty International recorded at least 328 physical and/or digital attacks directed against civil society, including human rights defenders and activists, resulting in a total of at least 834 victims.