Joint statement of solidarity by the legal empowerment network - southeast asia on ylbhi meeting dispersal

On November 12, 2022, a group of people who claimed to be local village officials attempted to disband an internal meeting of the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) board and regional officials in a villa in Sanur, Bali. It is evident that the reason behind the dispersal of the meeting is the G20 Summit in Bali hosted by the Indonesia government, where 20 of the most powerful countries in the world discussed global health architecture, sustainable energy transition, and digital transformation

This intimidation and harassment of civil society organizations in Bali demonstrates the shrinking civic space in many Southeast Asia (SEA) countries and constitutes a direct attack on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. This also highlights the continuing threat to human rights defenders across the region.

We, the core group members of the Legal Empowerment Network-Southeast Asia (LEN-SEA), has issued a statement in solidarity with YLBHI in protecting their right to organize, assemble and express their legitimate dissent on issues that directly impact their communities.

The statement hopes to urge the Indonesian government and other state leaders to create more space for civic engagement and strengthen people’s participation on key issues, uphold democracy, and prioritize people-centered solutions to the climate crisis.

Finally, we also call on civil society organizations to hold the line, continue the fight, and stand together for a just and peaceful future for all. Please join us and sign-on the statement and protect the fundamental elements of a just society and a thriving civic space. To sign-on, please click HERE