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Ilham Mahmudi


Ilham Mahmudi is an environmental human rights defender based in the North Sumatra Province of Indonesia. Mahmudi works on the protection of mangrove forests in Langkat suffering from illegal logging by oil palm enterprises, including in his village. He was the head of Hamlet (Kadus) II Kwala Langkat Village, Tanjung Pura District, Langkat Regency in North Sumatra province, but was temporarily dismissed for allegedly refusing to sign a letter of sale and purchase of the village forest land that was planned to be converted into oil palm plantations.

Since Indonesia’s transition to democracy, the role of human rights defenders has been of particular importance. The country’s record of its treatment of human rights defenders has been floundering, including ongoing surveillance and harassment, restrictions on the freedom of expression and freedom of religion, gender- specific violations against woman HRDs, judicial harassment including criminal defamation suits, stigmatisation, arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment, torture, forced disappearances and killings. Impunity in cases of murders of HRDs and grave human rights violations continue to thrive.