Papuan journalists rally to support justice for Victor Mambor over bomb attack

Suara Papua – June 28, 2024
Solidarity action by Papuan journalists outside Jayapura district court – June 28, 2024 (AWP)

Jayapura – Papuan journalists held a solidarity action to support the struggle by senior Papuan journalist Victor Mambor who is seeking justice over a terror bomb attack near his home on March 23, 2023. This solidarity was shown during a pretrial hearing at the Jayapura Class 1A District Court in Papua on Friday June 28.

Mambor through his attorney filed a pretrial motion challenging the issuance of an Order to Stop Investigation (SP3) in the terror bomb attack case.

Mambor's attorney from the Legal Aid Institute for the Press (LBH Pers) and the Papua Press Legal Aid Association read out the pretrial motion at the Jayapura District Court.

During the hearing at the Jayapura District Court, dozens of Papuan journalists held a silent action in which they unfurled banners reading "Papua Journalists Solidarity; Journalists guarding justice for the Molotov bomb attack against Victor Mambor; Registered with case number 5/Pid.Pra/2024/PN Jap”.

Elisa Sekenyap, the coordinator of the solidarity action, emphasised that journalists in Papua were in solidarity with Mambor over the terror bomb attack and support his pretrial motion challenging the issuance of the SP3.

"Journalists in Papua are present here with Victor Mambor in solidarity so that the law is upheld in this case. We feel this is very important to ensure that in the future similar events do not happen to indigenous Papuan journalists, said the Papua Journalists Association (AWP) chairperson.

After the pretrial hearing, she said, a follow up hearing will be held next week on Monday July 1.

Sekenyap stressed that they would continue to support and oversee the process until the lawsuit is concluded. "We will continue to monitor it until it's concluded", she said.

Similarly, Engelberth Wally, one of the Papuan journalists, said that the journalists' solidarity with Mambor will continued and they will return to the Jayapura District Court for the next hearing. "We will continue the silent actions", said the Tabloid Jubi journalist.

As is known, Victor Mambor has experienced a number of cases of terror that were allegedly related to his professional activities as a journalist.

The bomb attack near his home was reported by Mambor to the North Jayapura Sectoral Police (Polsek) on January 23, 2023, but the investigation was subsequently halted by police.

On March 1, 2024, the North Jayapura Sectoral Police again issued an SP3 on the bombing case. This added to the impunity over cases of violence that have befallen journalists in the land of Papua.

Mambor received the SP3 on March 18. The North Jayapura Sectoral Police argued that the investigation was stopped because it could not be categorised as a crime and there was insufficient evidence.

The SP3 however was irregular because it was issued on the same day that Mambor was questioned as a witness in the investigation.

Meanwhile the first SP3 was issued secretly on May 12, 2023. Mambor only found out that the investigation had been stopped after receiving a letter from the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) Papua representative office which had been informed that the investigation had been stopped.

Based on these indications of irregularities, Mambor, who is also the founder of the news portal submitted a pretrial motion at the Jayapura District Court.

The silent action on the grounds of Jayapura District Court by the Papuan journalists in support of Mambor proceeded smoothly.


[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Solidaritas Jurnalis Papua Dukung Victor Mambor Ajukan Praperadilan di PN Jayapura".]