Indonesia extends mobile data blockage in Papua after riots

The ministry cited a high volume of hoaxes, false information, racial and provocative messages being distributed in the area as the reason for the suspension.
The ministry cited a high volume of hoaxes, false information, racial and provocative messages being distributed in the area as the reason for the suspension.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) - Indonesia's government extended the suspension of mobile-data services in Papua and West Papua provinces after riots broke out in the region, the country's cabinet secretariat said, citing the Communications and Information Ministry.

The ministry decided to extend the suspension, which has been in place since Wednesday (Aug 21), until the situation in the area has improved, according to Mr Ferdinandus Setu, a ministry spokesman.

The ministry cited a high volume of hoaxes, false information, racial and provocative messages being distributed in the area as the reason for the suspension.

The unrest followed Monday's protests in Manokwari, West Papua, allegedly in response to the detention of 43 Papuan students during recent protests in Surabaya, East Java province.

A group of protesters set fire to the local parliament building in Manokwari and blocked streets around the area, according to a Kompas TV report.