Military accused of shooting dead a Papuan pastor – call for inquiry

Pastor Yeremia Zanambani
Rev Yeremia Zanambani ... alleged to have been shot dead by the Indonesian military in Hitadiap village on September 19. Image: Suara Papua

By Yanuarius Weya in Jayapura

A pastor has been shot dead at the weekend allegedly by the Indonesian military, sparking protests by church groups and a call for an investigation.

The pastor, Rev Yeremia Zanambani, was killed on Saturday in the Hitadipa district of Intan Jaya regency, Papua.

He was the former chairperson of the GKII Hitadipa district churches, vice-chairman of the Moni Bible translator, and also head of the STA Hitadipa school.

Neighbourhood community sources in Hitadipa village confirmed the shooting.

“This pastor went to to his pig pen in Bomba, a village not far from Hitadipa, to feed pigs. His body was just found this morning with his hand cut and shot,” the source said on Sunday.

Previously, the Indonesian military (TNI) had warned the Hitadipa communities to immediately return two weapons that had been allegedly taken by the National Liberation Army of West Papua (TPNPB) from the Hitadipa Koramil post.

Killing condemned
The Jakarta Post
reports that according to leaders of the Indonesian Evangelical Christian Church (GKII) and local media in Papua, the Indonesian Communion of Churches (PGI) chairman, Gomar Gultom, had alleged that Zanambani had been shot by TNI personnel at the same time that a military operation reportedly took place.

“I strongly condemn the shooting that killed pastor Yeremia Zanambani,” Gomar said yesterday.

Gomar said reports that the PGI had received differed from the account of the military, which published a statement on Sunday claiming Zanambani had been shot by an “armed criminal group” in the area.

The GKII, PGI executives and figures of the Moni tribe in Papua – an indigenous group to which Zanambani belonged – were currently investigating the incident, Gomar said.

Suara Papua articles are republished by the Pacific Media Centre with permission.

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