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Rights commission finds attempts obscure evidence in Papuan pastor killing

Kompas.com - November 3, 2020

Devina Halim, Jakarta – The National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) monitoring and investigation team has revealed that there have been efforts to obscure the facts surrounding the shooting of Pastor Yeremia Zanambani in Hitadipa district, Intan Jaya, Papua, on September 19.

"Attempts were found to divert or obscure the facts of the shooting incident at the TKP [scene of the crime] in the form of the angle and direction of shots which were irregular", said Komnas HAM commissioner Choirul Anam during a virtual press conference on Monday November 2.

This could be seen from the many irregular bullet holes with various different diameters and directions at the crime scene.

In total 19 bullet holes were found both outside the crime scene, in the roof or the pigpen's corrugated iron roof as well as in trees in the vicinity of the crime scene.

Based on a calculation of the distances, the shots were fired from a distance of 9-19 metres outside the crime scene.

Anam said that it is suspected that this was done to cover up the fact that Pastor Zanambani was shot in his left arm at close range or less than 10 metres.

"We're convinced that that this red herring of shooting angles was to obscure the fact that [the shooting] was done at close range", he said.

Komnas HAM also found that a bullet had disappeared from a wooden beam at the crime scene. The other finding was efforts to ensure that Zanambani's body was not examined.

"[We] found efforts to ensure the victim was buried immediacy right after the incident which was also an effort so that an examination of the victim's body would not be conducted to find the cause of death", he said.

According to Komnas HAM's report, it is suspected that the perpetrator of the torture and or extrajudicial killing of Zanambani is a senior Indonesian military (TNI) officer from the Hitadipa sub-district military command (Koramil).

Based on Komnas HAM's findings, it is suspected that the violence committed against Zanambani was to obtain information from the victim on the whereabouts of TNI a rifle seized two days earlier by the West Papua National Liberation Army/Free Papua Organisation (TPNPB/OPM).

The firearm was taken during an exchange of fire between the TNI and the TPNPB/OPM during which a TNI soldier named Chief Sergeant (serka) Sahlan was killed and his weapon taken.

The Komnas HAM investigation report will soon be handed over the President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Coordinating Minister for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs Mahfud MD.

A government sanctioned Joint Fact Finding Team (TGPF) also revealed that it found suspicions of the involvement of a rouge TNI member in Zanambani's shooting.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Komnas HAM Temukan Dugaan Pengaburan Fakta Penembakan Pendeta Yeremia di TKP".]

Source: https://nasional.kompas.com/read/2020/11/03/11395021/komnas-ham-temukan-dugaan-pengaburan-fakta-penembakan-pendeta-yeremia-di-tk