Indigenous leaders and land activists can find themselves targeted through the courts for defending their land and their culture.
Abelino Chub, an indigenous land rights advocate, was charged with burning down trees and fields on a plantation operated by a banana and palm company—a partner company of which joined the proceedings against Mr. Chub as a private complaint. Although Mr. Chub was acquitted, he spent two years in arbitrary pre-trial detention.
In Thailand, Wut Boonlert, an indigenous activist, and Samak Donnapee, a retired national park officer, were charged with criminal defamation for social media posts that, according to the prosecution, suggested a government official who had a long, antagonistic history with indigenous groups was misusing national forest land for private gain.
Kenia Hernandez, an indigenous land rights lawyer and activist, is facing multiple sets of charges. In one case, she has been charged with robbery and deemed too dangerous to participate in her trial in person, although the defense presented evidence she was 600km away.