4 October 2016
The Peace Brigades International Indonesia Project expresses deep sorrow at the passing of Gabrielinda Assem on Saturday, October 1 in Sorong, West Papua due to health complications. We share our condolences with her family, friends and loved ones.
Linda was an alumni of the Basic Course for Human Rights Defenders we operate together with ELSAM. In the short time since participating in our course in 2015, Linda had been prolific in her work advancing human right with the organization Belantara Papua. Over the past year she had been accompanying survivors of domestic violence, advocating for the economic rights of the women working in Sorong’s markets, and joined the Papua Working Group of Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR). She was not only a participant in several meetings, but also played a key role in organizing behind-the-scenes logistics, including for a writing workshop we held six months ago. Linda was particularly proud of her work establishing Toki Toki Noken, which empowers widows and single mothers in Sorong to earn incomes through the sale of traditional woven noken bags and other household goods (https://www.facebook.com/toki.noken).
We have been fortunate to meet many inspiring young human rights defenders through this work and even among this group Linda was exceptionally talented and dedicated to promoting human rights and the well-being of the communities in which she worked. At the young age of 27, she has given us a legacy which will not be forgotten.