Indonesia cuts off internet to Papua following protests – BBC News

Hundreds of protesters held a rally near the Indonesian presidential palace in Jakarta after numerous riots and demonstrations brought several Papuan cities to a standstill over recent days.

The two Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua, have seen numerous buildings being torched, including a jail and a market.

The protests are in response to claims of racism against Papuan students during Independence Day celebrations in the Javanese city of Surabaya.

The government has deployed more than 1000 additional soldiers and shut internet services in the region to “restore security”.

Indonesian president Joko Widodo has called for peace, adding that the government will try to look after “the honour and welfare of all people in Papua and West Papua”.

Fresh Papua protests erupt over student arrests

Protests around Indonesia’s Papua province have continued as extra police officers and military were sent in to put down the unrest. In Timika, a video shows protesters holding banners and shouting ‘we are not monkeys’ as they march down the streets. Protesters were also reported to have thrown rocks at a parliament building, houses, shops and a hotel. While a separatist movement has simmered for decades in Papua, with frequent complaints of rights abuses by Indonesian security forces, the recent anger appears to be linked to racist slurs against Papuan students who were detained last week.

Papuan students were detained in the East Java city of Surabaya over accusations they had disrespected the Indonesian flag during Independence Day celebrations on Saturday.

Mass prison break in Indonesia

Indonesian police are hunting more than 250 inmates who broke out of jail during a wave of civil unrest in the West Papua province.

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