Indonesian court rules internet curbs in Papua unlawful

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JAKARTA: An Indonesian court ruled yesterday that the government’s decision to rein in internet speeds in a bid to contain civil unrest in the country’s easternmost region of Papua last year was unlawful.

Demonstrations broke out in a number of cities in August after Papuan students in the city of Surabaya on Java island were allegedly taunted with racist slurs.

As unrest flared across the provinces of Papua and West Papua, the government said it throttled internet access to “prevent hoaxes from spreading” because this could trigger more violence.

The ruling by the Jakarta state administrative court and posted on its website said the act of slowing down the internet last year “was an unlawful action done by an agency and/or a government official”.

The defendants listed on the ruling were the president and the minister of communications. The lawsuit was filed by Indonesia’s Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and advocacy group the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet).  —Agencies

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