News World Phone-tapping protests expected at Aus embassy in Jakarta

Phone-tapping protests expected at Aus embassy in Jakarta

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Police in Indonesia say demonstrations are likely to occur in front of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta on today, amid ongoing fallout over the phone-tapping controversy.

It’s understood the Australian government will take precautions to ensure the safety of staff at the embassy and a large police presence is also expected.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has also updated its travel advice in response to the protest plan.

“Local police advise that a demonstration is planned for outside the Australian Embassy on 21 November, 2013,” DFAT said.

“Australians should monitor local media, avoid protests, maintain high levels of vigilance and security awareness.”

The protest was organised by a group called the People’s Coalition for Defence and Security (KMPH).

The development comes after Indonesia yesterday announced it was halting all co-operation with Australia on efforts to combat people smuggling after the phone-tapping controversy, in a major blow to Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s plan to stop the boats.

It’s believed the embassy has advised staff to avoid the protests.

Should protests occur, staff will be not be allowed to enter or exit the building, which is on one of Jakarta’s main streets.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says he will send a letter to Mr Abbott’s government demanding an official apology and a full explanation as to why Australian spies targeted his mobile phone in 2009, as well as his wife’s and some of his closest confidants.