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Over half of human rights activists killed in 2021 were defending the environment or Indigenous land

At least 358 human rights defenders were killed in 2021, according to an analysis by Front Line Defenders (FLD) and the international consortium Human Rights Defenders Memorial. Of the total, nearly 60% were land, environment or Indigenous rights defenders, and more than a quarter were themselves Indigenous. Researchers who worked to compile the data said the high proportion of activists killed while fighting against threats to community land and natural resources represented a continuation of a years-long trend.

“Unfortunately, in most if not all of the places where this is happening, there’s just flat-out impunity for these attacks,” said Andrew Anderson, the director of FLD.

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