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Solidarity Statement in Support of the Organizers and Participants of People's Water Forum

NGO Forum on ADB supports the People's Water Forum (PWF) in their fight for justice and equitable water resource management. We urge the international community to join us in condemning these actions and advocating for the protection of democratic freedoms in Indonesia.

The Forum Network stands in solidarity with our members and allies organizing and participating in the PWF in Bali, Indonesia, in light of the recent intimidation and forced disbandment by the Patriot Garuda Nusantara (PGN) mass organization, then the blockade by the Balinese city police (Satpol pp) that forbids anyone to enter and to exit the venue of the Forum, then the blockade by the Balinese city police (Satpol pp) that forbids anyone to enter and to exit the venue of the PWF, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Rights to Water and Sanitation and former judge of the Indonesian Constitutional Court.

On Monday, 20 May 2024, PWF faced severe intimidation and unlawful actions, including coercive measures, confiscation of materials, and physical violence against participants. These actions aimed to silence a vital civil society forum designed to critique water privatization and advocate for water management that prioritizes public welfare.

The PGN's actions, backed by a baseless verbal appeal from the interim Governor of Bali, violate constitutional rights guaranteed to all citizens, including freedoms of assembly, expression, and opinion. This appeal has no legal standing and contradicts the principles of democratic governance.

We condemn these anti-democratic and violent tactics that stifle legitimate dissent and civil discourse. We are deeply concerned about reports of intimidation and terror tactics used by state officials against PWF organizers, leading to the cancellation of multiple event venues under duress.

We call on the Government of the Republic of Indonesia to:

  1. Immediately cease all forms of intimidation and violence against PWF 2024, whether perpetrated by state officials or community organizations.

  2. Guarantee and uphold the constitutional rights of citizens to criticize and express dissent without fear of retribution or pressure.


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