Veronica Koman says fact finding team to probe Papua killings not independent

CNN Indonesia – October 3, 2020
Lawyer and human rights activist Veronica Koman – Undated (CNN)

Jakarta – Human rights activists and lawyer Veronica Koman has highlighted the involvement of TNI (Indonesian military) and Polri (Indonesian police) members in the Joint Fact Finding Team (TGPF) formed by the government to investigate a spate of recent shootings in Intan Jaya, Papua. According to Koman, the TGPF is not independent.

“By forming a team which is filled with TNI, Polri, BIN [National Intelligence Agency] personnel and government figures it shows that this team isn’t independent”, she said in an SMS message sent to CNN Indonesia on Friday October 2.

In particular, Koman took issue with the TNI members in the TGPF noting that in the case of the shooting of Papuan pastor Yeremia Zanambani in Intan Jaya on September 19, the TNI are the ones accused of being the perpetrators so it is inappropriate for them to be part of the TGPF.

“How can it be that the perpetrators accused [of the killing] are investigating themselves? This pattern keeps being repeated, and shows that the state has indeed never seriously wanted to resolve human rights violations in Papua”, said the woman who is active in advocating Papua issues.

Koman said that if indeed the government is serious about resolving human rights violations in Papua, it should use existing channels, namely the mechanism of a Commission of Inquiry and Investigation (KPP HAM).

Earlier, the government through Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD formed a TGPF to investigate a series of incidents resulting in the death of two TNI members, one civilian and two church pastors in Intan Jaya.

The directive forming the team was contained in a document numbered 83/2020 on the Formation of an Intan Jaya Joint Fact Finding Team (TGPF).

“So we have formed an Intan Jaya Joint Fact Finding Team or TGPF based on document number 83/2020”, said Mahfud during a virtual press conference on Friday.

There at least 30 names included in the TGPF which is made up of people from the government, police, [TNI], social figures as well as Papuan social and religious figures.

The TGPF is made up of two main components, namely a management team which has 11 members and a field investigation team which is made up of 18 people. Mahfud is tasked with being responsible for the team. (yoa/bmw)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Ada TNI, Veronica Koman Sebut TGPF Intan Jaya Tak Independen”.]