The Jakarta Post
The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) has pushed for the government to legally process the military member suspected to be behind the death of Papuan pastor Yeremia Zanambani in order to demonstrate its commitment to justice to the victim’s family and the Papuan people.
The request was made during Komnas HAM's meeting with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Monday. The commission formally submitted its investigation report on Yeremia’s death to the President.
“We asked that [the government] enforce the law in order to process the case peacefully, and the President agreed. He supports Komnas HAM both politically and institutionally,” Komnas HAM chairman Ahmad Taufan Damanik said after the meeting.
Previously, the commission also told Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD to legally process the alleged perpetrator, identified as Chief Sgt. Alpius Hasim Madi of the Hitadipa Military Command.
Ahmad claimed that the result of Komnas HAM’s investigation was similar to the one reported by the government-sanctioned joint fact-finding team (TGPF), which also indicated the alleged involvement of security forces in Yeremia’s shooting.
“It’s just the commitment. Let’s uphold the law to bring a sense of justice for especially [the victim’s] family and the Papuan people,” he said.
Ahmad said Komnas HAM also suggested to Jokowi that the government hold a peaceful dialogue with Papuan figures and the local government as part of efforts to solve prolonged conflict in the restive region. He added that Jokowi had agreed to the idea.
“We also hope that the President will do the same and work together to solve Papuan issues more comprehensively because the cycle of violence must be ended immediately,” he said.
The family of Yeremia, who was allegedly tortured and shot dead in his pig pen on Sept. 19, has previously demanded that the military personnel allegedly responsible for the killing be brought to a human rights court instead of a military court.
Komnas HAM commissioner Choirul Anam revealed the commission’s investigation results on Nov. 2, saying the soldier had allegedly tortured and shot Yeremia at close range and left random shots outside and inside the pig pen to obscure facts.
Indonesian Military (TNI) spokesperson Maj. Gen. Achmad Riad said the investigation launched by the Papuan Police had yet to reach a conclusion, so the TNI was still referring to the TGPF, which left open the possibility of a third party’s involvement in the crime.
Komnas HAM recommended that alleged perpetrators of the killing be brought to trial using the koneksitas justice mechanism, in which the court proceedings use a parallel approach of civil and military legal procedures, for the sake of transparency.
During Monday’s meeting, Komnas HAM also discussed with the President about the resolution of agrarian conflicts, trends in intolerance between religious groups, as well as equality in access to information and health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They also discussed talking points for the President’s upcoming speech on International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, which Komnas HAM hoped could be an opportunity for the state to uphold its commitment to human rights.
“Komnas HAM has repeatedly said that we must examine the threats of violent politics, whether it is during elections or demonstrations, so all parties, including law enforcement officials, can follow human rights corridors,” Ahmad said.