Police intimidate journalist while covering destruction of mangrove forest in Jayapura

Police officers reportedly intimidated the journalist Abdel Gamel Naser while reporting on the destruction of mangrove forests in the Youtefa Bay Nature Park conservation area in Jayapura, Papua Province, on 11 July 2023. Mr Naser works for the Papuan media newspaper Cenderawasih Post.

The incident occurred while Mr Naser and other journalists were covering members of the Papua Forestry and Environment Service, the Papua Natural Resources Conservation Centre, and the Papua Police while stopping logging activities and stockpiling of materials in the conservation area (see photo, source: Jubi). Two officers reportedly approached Mr Naser and questioned him why he was taking photos of the location. They forced him to delete three photos despite identifying himself as a journalist.

The Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) in Jayapura strongly condemned the intimidation, viewing it as a violation of press freedom and freedom of expression. The Chairman of the Jayapura Independent Journalists Alliance called for strict sanctions against the perpetrators and urged the Papua Regional Police (Polda Papua) to uphold press freedom.

The Polda Papua spokesperson, Ignatius Beny Ady Prabowo, declared in response to the incident that the police provide training on press freedom for their candidates. He advised affected journalists to report such incidents to the police-internal complaint division Propam.


Media freedom is essential for upholding democratic values and ensuring transparency in areas like environmental conservation and law enforcement activities. The incident involving Mr Gamel Naser underscores the importance of safeguarding media freedom and human rights in Papua. Journalists play a critical role in informing the public and shedding light on environmental issues and potential violations. Media workers are protected by national law to provide information to the public.

Detailed Case Data
name of the location: Youtefa Bay (-2.6173285951019762, 140.7054837577001)
administrative region: Indonesia, Papua Province, Jayapura City
total number of victims: one
period of incident: 11.07.2023
perpetrator: police
perpetrator details: unknown
Issues: freedom of expression, intimidation
Further HRM News:

NumberName, DetailsGenderAgeGroup AffiliationViolations
1Abdel Gamer Naser, journalistmaleunknown journalists freedom of expression, intimidation