TAPOL condemns the killing of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani, a church leader from Hitadipa District, Intan Jaya Regency, Papua Province. It has been reported that Pastor Zanambani was killed by members of the Indonesian military (TNI) on Saturday, 19th of September. Pastor Zanambani was found dead near his pig pen, 300 meters from his home, with bullet and stab wounds.
According to various reports, tensions in the area had increased since Saturday 18th September after an Indonesian soldier was killed by unknown individuals. The Indonesian military claims that the West Papuan National Liberation Army (TPNPB) is responsible for the soldier’s death. Military operations have been ongoing in the area since the incident forcing local residents to find refuge in nearby towns.
The Indonesian security forces have been committing violations of human rights in West Papua for decades. The killing of Pastor Zanambani appears to be another atrocity committed by the military in the territory, but without a proper independent investigation, military involvement in the circumstances surrounding his death will remain unclear. Indonesia is a member of the UN’s Human Rights Council. We call on that body to pressure the Indonesian Government to uphold its domestic human rights commitments. While Indonesia has used its current presidency of the United Nations Security Council as a platform to promote its military’s involvement in UN peacekeeping operations, there is a danger that serious problems with the military in its own territory, of which Pastor Zanambani’s death appears to be the latest chapter, will be overlooked.
We urge the Indonesian Attorney General’s Office to conduct a thorough review of the files on serious human rights cases that were submitted by the Indonesian National Commission of Human Rights since 2002 with a view to processing them as a matter of urgency. These cases include killings in West Papua as well as other killings and serious crimes, some of which go as far back as 1965.
The killing of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani is a reminder that every time the Indonesian Government fails to investigate serious crimes and to bring the perpetrators to justice, the cycle of violence with impunity is perpetuated.
Suara Papua: ‘Breaking News: Diduga TNI Tembak Mati Pdt. Yeremia Zanambani di Hitadipa’, 20 September 2020 from https://suarapapua.com/2020/09/20/breaking-news-diduga-tni-tembak-mati-pdt-yeremia-zanambani-di-hitadipa/
Jubi.co.id: ‘Diduga Oknum TNI tembak mati seorang pendeta di Intan Jaya’, 20 September 2020 from https://jubi.co.id/papua-oknum-tni-tembak-pendeta-di-intan-jaya/
Tirto.id: ‘Kematian Pendeta Yeremia: Cari Pembunuh Tentara, Warga Ditembak’,22 September 2020 from https://tirto.id/f4YE
BBC Indonesia: ‘Kejaksaan Agung kembalikan berkas kasus pelanggaran HAM berat, bagaimana komitmen Presiden Jokowi?’, 11 January 2019 from bbc.com/indonesia/indonesia-46822119