2019 Papua Internet Blackout; Minister Responds to Court Verdict

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Laila Afifa

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  • Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate. TEMPO/Ahmad Tri Hawaari

    Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate. TEMPO/Ahmad Tri Hawaari

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - After the Jakarta State Administrative Court (PTUN) found the president and the Communication and Informatics Minister guilty for the internet blackout in Papua and West Papua in August of 2019. The current minister Johnny Gerard Plate believes that the steps were taken by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo for the nation’s best interest. 

    “President Joko Widodo just did the same as any government would upon taking certain decisions, especially for the nation’s interest, the people, that includes the people of Papua,” said Johnny to Tempo on June 3. 

    He also made sure that the internet blackout was not commenced for the interest of certain groups and called for people to “Convey the cyber freedom of opinion and expression in a smarter way, more responsibly, or use the medium for beneficial purposes for the country.”

    As for the court proceeding, Minister Johnny said - who has yet read the verdict for himself - that it would be incorrect to consider the plaintiff's letter of claim (Petitum) as an official court verdict and that his ministry would only refer to the Jakarta State Administrative Court’s official verdict.

    “We will only refer to the court’s verdict, which according to information is not entirely correspondent to the plaintiff’s Petitum,” the minister said. 

    Moreover, he claimed to have yet found any documentation showing that the government had held any meeting to discuss and decide about the internet blackout or bandwidth throttling over in Papua and West Papua. 

    “However, the telecommunication infrastructure there might have been impaired, which caused the internet problems,” Johnny G. Plate defended. 

    CAESAR AKBAR | FRISKI RIANA