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Officials Shut Down Student News Website Over Story ‘Promoting Homosexuality’

A student news website in Indonesia that published a story about a woman expressing her love for another young woman was ordered by university officials to shut down its entire news operation after the story went viral. North Sumatra University (…
The newsroom of student website Suara USU at the North Sumatra University in Medan, which is facing closure. University President Runtung Sitepu ordered the newsroom to be shut down and the office to be vacated in 48 hours on March 27, 2019 after the webs
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Encourages Users to Report People Suspected of ‘Heresy’

Following your own religious beliefs shouldn’t be a crime, but in Indonesia, new technologies are helping authorities identify and potentially prosecute religious minorities who follow “deviant teachings.” On November 22,…
201811asia_indonesia_internet_smartpakem
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Authorities Equate Journalism with Doing “Something Wrong to Indonesia”

“Why am I now on the Indonesian government blacklist? For how long? For what reason? For going to Papua? This is devastating for me.” That was the reaction of Australian graduate student Belinda Lopez on August 4 when…
Indonesia's President-elect Joko Widodo (C) speaks with journalists at city hall in Jakarta, August 12, 2014.
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Authorities Restrict Independent Journalism in Papua

Last week, Indonesian authorities arrested a BBC correspondent for tweets she made while reporting from Papua. The journalist, Rebecca Henschke, was questioned for a total of 17 hours by immigration and military officials before being…
Indonesian soldiers along with a local resident unload food and medical aid in Ewer, Asmat District, in the remote region of Papua, Indonesia January 29, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto.
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House Speaker Using Defamation Laws to Silence Critics

Dyann Kemala Arrizzqi’s Instagram feed is filled with her travel photos, demonstrations of her prowess at traditional Balinese dance poses, and wry memes. But now the content of her Instagram feed may get her sent to an Indonesian…
The speaker of Indonesia's parliament Setya Novanto talks to reporters in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 18, 2017.
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President Jokowi Fails to Deliver on Promise to Lift Restrictions

An Indonesian foreign ministry official has confirmed the government has maintained a secretive interagency “clearing house” that has long obstructed foreign journalists from traveling to the provinces of Papua and West Papua, despite…
Cartoonist's depiction of Indonesian government restrictions on media freedom and rights monitoring in Papua.
News

Media Access Restrictions Defy Promised Opening

French journalists Jean Frank Pierre and Basille Marie Longchamp learned firsthand last week the Indonesian authorities’ contempt for media freedom in its “Forbidden Island” provinces of Papua and West Papua (commonly referred to as “Papua”). …
Indonesia's President-elect Joko Widodo (C) speaks with journalists at city hall in Jakarta, August 12, 2014.
News

Says Hostile to Privacy, Democratic Freedoms

This week, the European Union’s top court once again found that blanket data retention mandates are hostile to privacy and democratic freedoms, and incompatible with EU law. Such mandates require service providers to store data on all of the provider’s…
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It appears to be business as usual this week for Indonesian government officials’ intent on maintaining the decades-long restrictions on foreign media access to Indonesia’s far eastern provinces of Papua and West Papua. Just two weeks after Indonesian…
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Indonesia’s media freedom sustained a worrying blow on Friday when a court in Jayapura, on the country’s easternmost island of Papua, convicted French journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat of “abusive use of entry visas.” The two journalists –…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…