Global Witness report: 2016 ‘deadliest year yet for environmental activists’

At least two hundred environmental activists were killed in 2016, according to a new report by the non-governmental organisation Global Witness. And nearly 40 percent of those murdered were from indigenous communities.

The toll of killings amounts to nearly four every week. In addition to the murders and death threats, those defending their lands from such industries as mining, logging, and agribusiness have been arrested, sexually assaulted, abducted, and aggressively attacked in the courts.

CHANGING TIMES

At least two hundred environmental activists were killed in 2016, according to a new reportby the non-governmental organisation Global Witness. And nearly 40 percent of those murdered were from indigenous communities.

The toll of killings amounts to nearly four every week. In addition to the murders and death threats, those defending their lands from such industries as mining, logging, and agribusiness have been arrested, sexually assaulted, abducted, and aggressively attacked in the courts.

“It has never been deadlier to take a stand against companies that steal land and destroy the environment,” said Global Witness campaigner Ben Leather. “There were killings of those protesting against land grabs in one-third more countries in 2016 than in 2015.”

The number of environmental activists killed in 2015 totalled 185.

In 2016, murders of land defenders were reported in 24 countries, as compared to 16 countries in 2015.

Leather says that severe limitations on…

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