Bangkok, January 24, 2023 – Indonesian authorities must thoroughly and swiftly investigate the recent attack on Papuan journalist Victor Mambor’s home and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday.
At about 4 a.m. Monday, an improvised explosive device detonated outside of Mambor’s house in Jayapura, a city in the province of Papua, according to press reports, a statement by the AJI Indonesia press freedom group, and Mambor, who communicated with CPJ via email.
Mambor, editor and co-founder of the local independent news website Jubi.id and a regular contributor to the Radio Free Asia-affiliated outlet BenarNews, was still awake when the bomb detonated, he told CPJ, saying that no one was injured in the blast and his home was not damaged.
“Indonesian authorities must identify and apprehend all those behind the recent attack on journalist Victor Mambor,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Mambor and his news outlet must be free to report without fear of reprisal, and those responsible for bombing his home must be brought to justice.”
Police spokesperson Ignatius Ady Prabowo said police were investigating and had examined the crime scene, according to reports.
CCTV camera footage showed a Honda motorcycle passing by Mambor’s house moments before the blast, according to the journalist and those news reports.
Mambor told CPJ that he has faced persistent harassment over Jubi.id’s reporting on human rights issues associated with the long-running conflict between Indonesian security forces and the secessionist West Papua National Liberation Army.
Mambor said he frequently receives threats and hate speech on his social media accounts, and his Twitter account was hacked and deleted last year after he posted a video showing Indonesian security forces allegedly abusing a disabled civilian.
He told CPJ that unknown assailants vandalized his car in the middle of the night of April 21, 2021, saying he believed the vandalism was motivated by his journalism. No suspects were ever identified or charged for that attack, Mambor said.
CPJ emailed the West Papua police for comment but did not immediately receive any reply.