Indonesian missions in the US urge citizens not to join anti-racism protests

A Black Lives Matter rally in Eugene, Oregon on May 31, 2020. Photo: David Geitgey Sierralupe/Flickr
A Black Lives Matter rally in Eugene, Oregon on May 31, 2020. Photo: David Geitgey Sierralupe/Flickr

Indonesian diplomatic missions in the US are urging citizens in the country to refrain from taking part in the ongoing anti-racism protests — a message that has sparked a debate online regarding freedom of expression.

Several Indonesian consulate general offices (KJRI) in the US, including the Los Angeles mission, issued an advisory calling on Indonesians to obey the law amid the protests and subsequent chaos across America.  

“We urge that Indonesian citizens/diaspora and students to refrain from taking part in the protests, whether directly or indirectly by expressing support/statements/signing petitions. Do not post content on social media critical of city, state, or federal administrations in their handling of anti-discrimination/racism issues, including the handling of the ongoing protests in the US,” the advisory from KJRI Los Angeles read.

While there is no explicit prohibition for any Indonesian wishing to take part in the protests in the US, the advisory has received some backlash online by some who suggested that it amounted to Indonesia being complicit into silencing its own citizens in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

Such a suggestion mainly arose from unverified viral WhatsApp conversations that conveyed a message purportedly and unambiguously prohibiting Indonesians from taking part in the protests.

But many also defended the advisory, saying that it’s within any diplomatic mission’s scope to urge its citizens to obey the laws of the country they reside in.

Do you think the Indonesian diplomatic missions in the US were right to warn its citizens not to get involved in the protests, or was their advisory a threat to freedom of expression? Let us know in the comments.

Also Read — Anti-racism protests in the US are shining the light on racism against Papuans in Indonesia

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CITY: JAKARTACATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: POLITICS, VIRALTAGS:

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