Devina Halim, Jakarta – Amnesty International has recorded 47 cases of extrajudicial killings in Papua between February 2018 and September 2020. Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid revealed that these cases have resulting in 96 deaths.
“This is a very big number for a very short period of time, 2018 to 2020, with such a large number of victims, this is very worrying”, said Hamid during a virtual press conference on Monday September 28.
If categorised by perpetrator, Hamid said that there were 12 cases involving combined TNI-Polri (Indonesian military and police) personnel with a total of 29 victims.
Then there were 13 cases involving TNI personnel which claimed 23 lives, 15 cases involving the Indonesian police with 16 deaths and as many as 26 people killed by unidentified perpetrators or which are referred to by the government as Armed Criminal Groups (KKB).
Finally, there was one case which occurred in prison which claimed two lives.
Amnesty’s data also showed that as many as 94 out of the total 96 killed during this period were indigenous Papuans.
If looked at by region, Hamid revealed that the largest number of cases occurred in conflict areas.
“The highest [number of killings] were indeed where the level of conflict is quite high, namely Nduga [regency]. Second, in Jayawijaya, this is also still in the highlands, only then does it go down in cities such as Jayapura, Timika or Deiyai”, he continued.
According to Amnesty’s records, many of the cases were alleged to have been investigated but the results have not been made public.
“Resolving the cases by means of giving money or giving something else, without any clarity about what actually happened, why the incident occurred, who in fact was involved”, said Hamid.
Hamid explained that seven cases are currently being investigated, 14 cases have been invested but the results not made public and nine cases have never been investigated.
Then there were five cases which were dealt with internally by the Indonesian police, two cases which were brought before the courts and two other cases which were heard by military tribunals. Eight other cases meanwhile are still being verified by law enforcement institutions.
The most recent case was the fatal shooting of Pastor Yeremia. Hamid is calling for the case to be investigated impartially, independently and openly.
Amnesty also says that the investigation must involve an independent institution such as the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM). Hamid wants Komnas HAM to form an ad hoc team to deal with the case.
“It’s not enough [that it be dealt with by] the Komnas HAM representative office in Papua, instead an ad hoc team of investigators must be formed by Komnas HAM in Jakarta in accordance with the Human Rights Law”, he said.
As has been reported, Tabernacle Bible Church of Indonesia Pastor Yeremia Zanambani was shot dead in the Hitadipa Village in Hitadipa district, Intan Jaya regency, Papua, on Saturday September 19. The TNI says that Zanambani was shot by an Armed Criminal Group.
West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) spokesperson Sebby Sambon meanwhile said that Zanambani was killed by TNI soldiers.
“Today Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, S. Th, a translator of the Bible into the Moni regional dialect was shot dead by the TNI in Intan Jaya”, said Sambon in a press release on Sunday September 20.
Papuan regional police public relations division head Senor Commissioner AM Kamal also denied that the TNI were the perpetrators of the killing.
Kamal argued that there is no TNI post in Hitadipa and the statement by Sambon has no basis and is only intended to worsen the situation. “There isn’t any security force post or office there. Only recently have there been plans to establish a Koramil [District Military Command] office in the village”, said Kamal.
According to Kamal, Zanambani was killed by an Armed Criminal Group led by Jelek Waker. Cenderawasih/XVII Regional Military Command commander Major General Herman Asaribab has reportedly ordered his personnel to conduct an investigation.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Amnesty: Ada 47 Pembunuhan di Luar Proses Hukum di Papua Sejak 2018”.]