Thousands of people are expected to participate in fresh protests in six regions of West Papua province and possibly in Papua province on Monday, August 26. Rallies are anticipated in major cities, including the capital Jayapura. Heightened security measures remain in place throughout the provinces, as well as the suspension of mobile-data services. The Communications and Information Ministry announced on Sunday, August 25, that it would extend the current suspension until the security situation improves. An additional 1000 security personnel have been deployed into Papua and West Papua provinces as well.
Further protests are also possible throughout Papua and West Papua provinces in the coming days. Heightened security measures and transportation and business disruptions are to be expected near demonstration sites. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
Violent protests have taken place in West Papua and Papua provinces since August 18, leading officials to cut internet access and deploy additional police officers in the region. The demonstrations were initially launched after security forces stormed a university dormitory in Surabaya on August 17, rounding up 43 students accused of desecrating the Indonesian flag. The students, who were reportedly subjected to racial abuse, were released from custody on August 18. Thousands of people have participated in the protests, which have been held in Manokwari, Sorong, Jayapura, and other cities in the province.
Individuals in Indonesia are advised to remain vigilant and exercise caution when traveling to Papua and West Papua, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities (e.g. travel permits) and their home governments, and avoid all public demonstrations.
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