Witnesses tell Amnesty investigators that TNI killed Papuan pastor

Kompas.com – October 2, 2020
Satellite image showing location of Zanambani’s house, military post and pig pen (Suara Papua)

Devina Halim, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia has revealed a number of provisional findings on the recent shooting of Papuan pastor Yeremia Zanambani in Intan Jaya, Papua.

According to Amnesty International Indonesia researcher Ari Pramuditya, witnesses revealed that the alleged perpetrators of the shooting were TNI (Indonesian military) personnel from a military post located not far from Zanambani’s home.

“From the chronology that we put together, witnesses said that the shooting was allegedly committed by a TNI member assigned to a school [military] post”, said Pramuditya during a virtual press conference on Friday October 2.

From a satellite image obtained by Amnesty, it can be seen that Zanambani’s house is located opposite the military post.

Based on information gathered by Amnesty, the military post is located near the Injili Church Schooling and Education Foundation One Roof School in Hitadipa.

Pramuditya said that the military post was established nine months ago and witnesses also said that the alleged perpetrator had been staffing the military post for some time.

“So we think that it makes quite good sense when witnesses say that they know the person who committed the shooting of the pastor”, he said.

“Moreover, before his death, the pastor also related an incident that he experienced to a witness just before his death”, said Pramuditya.

The other information obtained by Amnesty relates to a meeting of the Papua Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Synod community in Hitadipa and Zanambani’s family.

Pramuditya said that the meeting on September 24 was also attended by the regent, deputy regional police chief and the district military commander. Pramuditya added that Zanambani’s family was given bereavement money by the regent.

Nevertheless, Amnesty insists that the perpetrator of the shooting must be investigated and tried in open court. “Providing bereavement money in any form cannot be allowed to halt the criminal investigation into this case”, said Pramuditya.

Amnesty is still carrying out a verification and investigation into all aspects of the case. The information revealed to date are preliminary findings which have been able to be fully verified yet.

As has been reported, Pastor Yeremia Zanambani was shot dead in Hitadipa Village, Hitadipa district, Intan Jaya regency, Papua, on Saturday September 19.

The TNI says that Zanambani was shot dead by an armed criminal group (KKB) – the government’s name for the Free Papua Organisation (OPM).

West Papua National Liberation Army (TPNPB) spokesperson Sebby Sambon however said that Zanambani was killed by TNI personnel.

Papua regional police public relations division head Senior Commissioner AM Kamal meanwhile has also denied accusations that the TNI were the perpetrator of the fatal shooting.

Kamal explained that there is no TNI post in Hitadipa and the statement by Sambon has no basis and is only intended to worsen the situation.

According to Kamal, the Zanambani’s killers were from an armed criminal group led by Jelek Waker.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Temuan Amnesty: Saksi Sebut Penembakan Pendeta Yeremia Diduga Dilakukan Anggota TNI”.]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2020/10/02/18545301/temuan-amnesty-saksi-sebut-penembakan-pendeta-yeremia-diduga-dilakukan