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Just Forests condems the assassination of Bill Kayong

Bill Kayoing's murder comes only hours after Global Witness released a report that marks 2015 as the 'bloodiest year' on record for environmental activists as 185 are reported to have been murdered protecting their natural resources.

24th June 2016

 Illegal activities in the state’s notoriously corrupt forestry sector are blamed for Kayong's murder.


The Global Witness report goes on to say that at least 185 environmentalists in 16 different countries are known to have been murdered, according to the group—a rate of more than three a week.

The figure represents a 60 percent increase over 2014's death toll. And those are just the murders we know about. Global Witness says that number may actually be a significant underestimate. The true number could be "far higher," since many such killings happen deep within rainforests or in remote villages and are difficult to document.

Just Forests is shocked and deeply saddened by the murder of Bill Kayong, a dedicated land rights activist and member of the opposition party in Malaysia’s Sarawak state. We condemn such a heinous crime and urge the police to investigate thoroughly and expediently to bring the assassin and whoever ordered the assassination to justice.

“The brutal slaying of land rights champion Bill Kayong shows the risks faced by activists in Sarawak who stand up to the powerful interests behind land grabbing and environmental devastation,” said Rick Jacobsen of Global Witness. “This tragic killing comes the day after Global Witness released a report documenting the dramatic increase in the murder of activists like Kayong around the world. The Malaysian authorities must take swift action to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.”


Sarawak’s Chief Minister Adenan Satem has made public commitments to work constructively with civil society and crack down on illegal activities in the state’s notoriously corrupt forestry sector. But evidence increasingly suggests his words are not being backed by action. His government’s reaction to this latest tragedy will be telling. Source >>>>

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