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Indonesians protest at Australian embassy over wiretapping

Nov. 22, 2013 at 8:37 AM

SOUTH JAKARTA, Indonesia, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Indonesian protesters burned an Australian flag and threw eggs at the Australian Embassy in South Jakarta Friday over a wiretapping scandal, officials said.

More than 100 protesters led by the Red and White Troops said they're angry Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has refused to apologize for the monitoring of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's phone in 2009, The Jakarta Globe reported.

"We're here to protest Australia ... who has evidently violated the rights and sovereignty of Indonesian citizens," said a protester identified as Irwan, a member of the Communication Forum for Military and Police Veteran's Children.

Approximately 500 police were on hand at the embassy, trying to prevent the protesters from reaching the building's gate, The Jakarta Post reported. "The Australians have dared to wiretap President SBY and other officials, using security reasons as excuses. But [such actions] are against the privacy of citizens of any country, including Indonesian citizens."

Abbott has said he "regrets the embarrassment caused by the media reports," but hasn't apologized for the wiretapping, calling it a "reasonable" measure for intelligence gathering, the Globe said.

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