Violet protests have been reported in Jayapura (Papua province) on Thursday, August 29, as protests continue into their twelfth day. Police have also clashed with protesters, using tear gas to disperse crowds and try to take control of the situation after protesters threw stones at businesses. Protesters set buildings alight, including the Telkomunikasi Indonesia telecoms office and a local parliament office. Electricity was subsequently cut off in parts of Jayapura and several gas stations were closed. Internet access remains blocked.
Further protests are 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. Further 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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