24 Apr 2021

Press freedom under threat in Papua as journalist targetted

9:13 am on 24 April 2021

Indonesia's Alliance of Independent Journalists has condemned actions of intimidation against a leading West Papuan journalist.

Victor Mambor, the Jayapura-based founder of the Tabloid Jubi media outlet, discovered his car had been vandalised and damaged where it was parked outside his home earlier this week.

West Papuan journalist Victor Mambor

West Papuan journalist Victor Mambor Photo: Paul Bensemann

Damage occurred to the windshield of the car, hit with a blunt object to crack, and the left side windows, which was hit with a sharp object until it shattered. In addition, the left side doors were scribbled with orange paint.

The Alliance said "these acts of terror and intimidation are clearly forms of violence against journalists, and threaten press freedom in Papua and more broadly in Indonesia".

It said it was strongly suspected that the intimidatory act experienced by Mambor was related to news covered in Tabloid Jubi which certain parties did not like.

Jubi's staff have experienced various physical, psychological and digital attacks over the years.

However, harassment against Mambor increased recently with a spate of social media and digital attacks targetting his media work and personality.

The Alliance's Jayapura chapter called for the Papua Police Chief, Inspector General Mathius Fakhiri, and his staff to immediately investigate the attack on Mambor's car and arrest the perpetrators.

AJI Jayapura said that journalists must be protected in carrying out their reporting duties in Papua in order to find the essential truth for the community, even though it creates hatred from certain parties.

Mambor said he was grateful for all the support he had received from Papuans following the incident.