Indonesia: West Papua journalist's home target of bombing attack

Veteran journalist and former regional AJI head Victor Mambor has reported the detonation of an explosive device outside his home on the morning of January 23, 2022. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) Indonesia in condemning ongoing intimidation directed towards critical journalists, and urging law enforcement to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident.

Police inspect the scene of the bombing outside Victor Mambor’s home on January 23. Credit: Twitter

Police have confirmed the use of an explosive device outside the Jayapura home of veteran journalist and former AJI Papua chair Victor Mambor on January 23. At around four A.M., Mambor reported hearing a motorcycle driving away from his home, followed by a powerful explosion.

According to AJI Jayapura, the device was set off three meters from the journalist’s home, leaving a hole in the road. The effort failed to damage any property or cause harm to Mambor or his family. Police are currently investigating the incident, with the perpetrators or their motives currently unknown.

Mambor, the editor and founder of independent Papuan online news outlet Jubi has previously faced online harassment and other intimidation attempts  for his critical reporting. In April 2021, Mambor’s car’s windshield and windows were smashed, and graffiti was sprayed on the doors of the vehicle.

The incident has inspired condemnations from human rights organisations, journalists' associations, and press freedom advocates, who have called the incident an attack on freedom of expression, and urged police to identify those involved in the attack.

AJI said: The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) strongly condemns the bombings as a threat to press freedom in Papua. AJI urges the Indonesian Police to thoroughly investigate the perpetrators behind the terror. AJI call all journalists in Papua not to be afraid and give up on voicing the truth amidst various obstacles.

The IFJ said: “The detonation of an explosive device outside Victor Mambor’s home is a blatant and unacceptable act of intimidation. The IFJ strongly condemns this latest incident directed against Victor Mambor and urges West Papuan authorities to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into this incident.

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj@ifj-asia.org

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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