Indonesia Ramps Up Investigation into Pastor’s Death

06/09/2021 Indonesia (International Christian Concern) – On June 5th, an independent medical team carried out a full autopsy on the Protestant pastor who was allegedly killed by a group of TNI (Indonesian National Army) soldiers. The autopsy was conducted as part of an official investigation into the suspected soldiers.

The autopsy on Reverend Yeremia Zanambani of the Gospel Tabernacle Church occurred in Papua’s Intan Jaya district. His church pressured the Indonesian government to continue their investigation into the pastor’s death. The family of the pastor consented to the autopsy in February of this year.

On September 19, 2020, the 67-year-old pastor was found dead outside of his home. He lived in the village of Hitadipa in the Intan Jaya district of Papua. Indonesia’s National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) launched an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.

The commission announced that a soldier called Alpius Hasim Madi ultimately slayed the pastor. [The findings] are based on the dying man’s account given to at least two witnesses before he died that he saw the soldier at the crime scene along with three or four other soldiers,” Mohammad Choirul Anam, a Komnas HAM commissioner, told journalists on Nov. 2.

The pastor was subjected to torture before he was shot.

The Indonesian military has been accused of covering up human rights abuses committed by soldiers, hence the reason an independent team was asked to conduct the autopsy.

Intan Jaya police chief Sandy Sultan told UCA News that the autopsy was conducted by a forensic team from Hasanuddin University in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and witnessed by Benny Mamoto, chairman of the government-appointed fact-finding team looking into the case, Komnas HAM, and a member of the victim’s family.

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