Indonesia blocks internet in West Papua as protest rages

KUALA LUMPUR, Indonesia has blocked internet access in West Papua, a move that followed the government deployment of additional military and police personnel to the region to help to quell ongoing protests and secure vital public facilities.

News of the internet shutdown comes as angry demonstrations continue to break out on Thursday in West Papua province’s city of Sorong and the Fakfak regency, according to the General Security Ministry’s spokesman Fernandis Sito.

A number of protesters have also started to gather in the capital, Jakarta. Indonesia’s security minister, Wiranto, and the country’s police chief, General Tito Karnavian are heading to the West Papua region – which comprises West Papua and Papua provinces – on Thursday to oversee the government’s security operation, according to reports.

State-owned Antara news agency reported late on Wednesday that police officers have arrested at least 34 people in Timika, a regency in Papua province.

Source: Kuwait News Agency