The Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) and the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) have called on the government to further investigate the killing of Papuan pastor Yeremia Zanambani following the publication of a government-sanctioned joint fact-finding team report.
“We will keep monitoring the government to assess their seriousness in further investigating this case as well as encouraging transparency in the process,” PGI secretary-general Jacky Manuputty told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
The fact-finding team – whose field investigation was led by Benny Mamoto of the National Police Commission (Kompolnas) – reported that it found indications that security were involved in the killing of Yeremia, who was found dead in Hitadipa district in Intan Jaya regency, Papua, last month.
Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD announced the findings in a press conference on Wednesday.
“The government has asked the National Police and the Attorney General's Office to solve the case impartially, in accordance with the law and justice. The government has also asked Kompolnas to provide assistance in the upcoming legal processes,” Mahfud said.
Mahfud said that the team also found that armed groups were responsible for three other shootings that occurred at around the same time targeting a civilian named Badawi and Indonesian Military (TNI) soldiers Chief. Sgt. Sahlan and First Pvt. Dwi Akbar.
Jacky said the PGI appreciated the work done by the fact-finding team in investigating the case as it showed the government’s commitment to solving crime.
“We also support the legal proceedings against the suspected murderer of Pastor Yeremia, whether it was done by state security personnel or an armed group,” he said.
Jacky demanded the government to investigate all past murder cases and human rights violations in Papua “to help heal the collective wounds suffered by Papuan people”.
Komnas HAM commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara echoed Jacky’s comments.
“If they catch the offenders, the case must proceed under the proper legal system,” Beka told the Post. “If security forces are responsible, they must be brought before military tribunals.”
He said that Komnas HAM was conducting its own investigation into the shootings but that the commission “respected” the fact-finding team’s report.
“It will provide further opportunity for police to solve the case based on the data, facts and evidence obtained by the government-sanctioned joint fact-finding team,” he said.
TNI spokesperson Maj. Gen. Achmad Riad declined to comment on the team’s report.
“We have not received the complete draft and the full authority is in the hands of the Office of the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister,” he said in a text message to the Post.
Previously, the PGI, Indonesian Evangelical Christian Church (GKII) and local media in Papua said that Yeremia was allegedly shot by TNI personnel on his way to his pig pen on Sept. 19, at the same time a military operation was reportedly taking place.
President of the Papuan Baptist Churches Fellowship, Sokratez Sofyan Yoman, has alleged that prior to Yeremia, TNI members shot dead two other pastors, Geyimin Nirigi and Elisa Tabuni, in separate incidents in 2018 and 2004.
Rizki Fachriansyah contributed to this story.