SAFEnet responded positively to the decision of the Jakarta PTUN court on internet shutdown in Papua and West Papua and appreciated the work of the judges as a fair decision and had a major impact on the regulation of the internet in Indonesia to respect digital rights.
In 2019 the Indonesian government through the Ministry of Communication and Information undertook a number of internet shutdown actions in Papua and West Papua as follows:
1) Government action in the form of Throttling or the slowing down of access / bandwidth in several areas of West Papua Province and Papua Province on August 19, 2019 from 13.00 Eastern Indonesian Time to 20.30 Eastern Indonesian Time
2) Government actions, namely blocking data services and / or terminating internet access completely in Papua Province (29 cities / districts) and West Papia Province (13 cities / districts) dated August 21 until at least on September 4, 2019 at 23:00 WIT .
3) Government actions namely extending the blocking of data services and / or terminating internet access in 4 cities / districts in Papua Province (ie Jayapura City, Jayapura Regency, Mimika Regency, and Jayawijaya Regency) and 2 cities / districts in West Papua Province (ie Kota Manokwari and Kota Sorong) from September 4, 2019 at 23:00 Eastern Indonesian Time to September 9, 2019 at 18:00 Western Indonesia Time / 20:00 Eastern Indonesian Time.
For these action, SAFEnet strongly opposes and has sought to provide input through online petitions, media and direct meetings with the Indonesian government. However, because the government insisted that what was done was right, SAFEnet decided to take legal action in November 2019. Together with AJI Indonesia and accompanied by lawyers from LBH Pers, YLBHI, KontraS, Elsam, ICJR, a lawsuit against Defendant I (Menkominfo) and Defendant II (President) was submitted at PTUN Jakarta.
On June 3, 2020, the Jakarta PTUN panel of judges ruled that the internet shutdown in Papua and West Papua on 2019 were an unlawful act by a government agency and / or official. In addition, the judge sentenced Defendant I and Defendant II to pay jointly for Rp 457,000 (four hundred fifty seven thousand rupiah).
Thank you to the plaintiff partners of AJI Indonesia and the lawyers of the Tim Pembela Kebebasan Pers/Press Freedom Defenders Team for their efforts and cooperation in winning this case.
SAFEnet hopes that the judges’ decision will be a lesson for the future of the Indonesian government and all parties to respect digital rights for better internet governance.
Denpasar, 4 June 2020