Reporters Without Borders is appalled by a knife attack in the early hours of today on Banjir Ambarita, a journalist based in Jayapura, the capital of the eastern province of Papua, who writes for the Jakarta Globe daily and the news portal Vivanews.com.
The motive for the stabbing is not yet known but local journalists said they thought it was linked to the fact that Ambarita broke a story three days ago about a case of sexual abuse of a detainee by three police officers. Jayapura’s police chief resigned yesterday as a result of the scandal.
Reporters Without Borders voices its support for Ambarita, his family and friends and urges the authorities to carry out an exhaustive investigation into the attack without delay.
Ambarita, 35, said he was riding on his motorcycle in Jayapura when two men on another motorcycle forced him to brake. “I thought they were going to overtake me, so I slowed down, but the one sitting in the pillion suddenly (stabbed) me in the belly and chest,” he said. The identity of his two assailants is not known.
Ambarita sustained several stab wounds including one that penetrated his intestines. He was rushed to an intensive care unit in Marten Indey Hospital where doctors described his condition as critical but stable. He underwent surgery this morning.