HRDs being interviewed by journalists


Ordinary citizens become defenders when bringing human rights violations to the eyes of the world and PI helps them do so safely

27 February 2014

This video by Human Rights Watch shows the extremely violent attacks religious minority groups in Indonesia have suffered in the past few years and comments on the conditions enabling this violence. You can watch this imagery only because somebody took the risk to document it.

People who shoot footage for clips such as this one are at serious risk of being attacked themselves. Taking risks makes these ordinary people human rights defenders. Protection International and KontraS work with people who document the human rights violations HRW speaks out about and help them tell this and other stories in Indonesia.

As HRW points out, the police often fail to adequately intervene and even turn a blind eye to violations committed against minority groups. With support from PI Indonesia, community members have developed security strategies to try to keep their community members, families, houses, and places of worship safe in very volatile situations, such as those depicted in the clip.

They have been very resourceful in trying to keep themselves and their communities safe while defending their rights to worship. In case of riots or attacks, evacuation routes for families to leave the scene have been established. Serving as an early warning mechanism, communication is maintained with neighboring communities facing similar challenges, and security assessments are made before events are organized by the community – with events being canceled if deemed unsafe.