Enemies of the state? How governments and business silence land and environmental defenders

Twenty-three people were killed in India last year for defending their land and environment, with only the Philippines and Colombia recording more deaths, human rights group Global Witness said in a report. The report, titled “Enemies of the State”, mentioned the deaths of 13 protestors allegedly in police firing in Tamil Nadu in May 2018 during the anti-Sterlite protests. The organisation documented 164 killings worldwide of “land and environmental defenders – ordinary people murdered for defending their homes, forests and rivers against destructive industries”. However, it said “countless more were silenced through violent attacks, arrests, death threats or lawsuits”, and the data could not provide an accurate picture of the true scale of the problem.

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