TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Chairman of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia Abdul Manan, condemned the internet block applied in Papua and West Papua by the government starting on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. Manan claimed that the policy disturbed Papuan citizens from receiving and deliver information.
"Especially for journalists, many journalists in Papua who were directly affected by the block," Manan said to Tempo on Thursday evening, August 22, 2019.
Manan asserted that the government may argue that the policy was intended to stop the spreading of hoaxes. However, at the same time, he said that the people's rights to receive information has been restricted. Whereas, Manan said that receiving and delivering information is one of the human rights.
Moreover, Manan noticed a potential problem when access to information is limited. Mana explained that the public will not aware of any information on violation of human rights committed by officials in conflict areas.
"Which one is more important?" he said.
According to AJI, there are other methods of preventing the spreading of hoax instead of blocking the internet. "The government was focuses on handling the smoke but not putting out the fire," Manan added.
Manan asserted that the root of the problem is the racial attitude of official and public organization, which he viewed as intolerant and causing anger, even riot. Therefore, Manan argued that the government should take firm action against the perpetrator as part of the commitment in resolving the issue.
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