Caesar Akbar, 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. He claimed that the policy disturbed Papuan citizens from receiving and delivering 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.
He asserted that the government may argue that the policy was intended to stop the spreading of hoaxes. However, at the same time, Manan said that people's rights to receive information have been restricted. Whereas, he said that receiving and delivering information is one of the human rights.
Moreover, Manan noticed a potential problem when access to information is limited. He 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?" Manan said.
According to AJI, there are other methods of preventing the spreading of hoax instead of blocking the internet. "The government was focused on handling the smoke but not putting out the fire," he 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, He argued that the government should take firm action against the perpetrator as part of the commitment to resolve the issue.