Indonesia urged to end internet shutdown in Papua and West Papua provinces

The human rights organization Amnesty International has in a statement called for an end of the internet shutdown imposed by the Indonesian authorities in the country’s Papua and West Papua provinces. According to Amnesty International Indonesia’s Executive Director Usman Hamid, the “blanket internet blackout is an appalling attack on people’s right to freedom of expression in Papua and West Papua.” 

The background to the government’s action as captured on Amnesty’s website is that an “unrest broke in a number of places in the provinces due to protest against allegations of discrimination and unlawful use of force against Papuan students in East Java over the weekend.” 

The Communication and Information Ministry confirmed on 22 August that authorities shut down the Internet on Wednesday 21 August as a measure “to prevent the spread of misinformation that could provoke people to stage violent protests.”