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World News

Indonesian activists push for full probe into Papua pastor shooting

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian activists called on Thursday for deeper investigation into the killing of a Papuan pastor, a day after a top security official said a government fact-finding mission had found signs of possible involvement by state forces.

Indonesia’s military has denied allegations by church groups that it was behind last month’s fatal shooting of pastor Yeremia Zanambani, but a 14-day probe into the incident has indicated security forces may have played a part in the killing.

“We want a legal, lawful follow-up that is clear going forward,” Latifah Anum Siregar, director of the Democratic Alliance of Papua, told a news conference.

“I’m worried the fact-finding team’s results are the climax, and maybe the case will later be opaque.”

Indonesia’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD, on Wednesday said the report, which is non-binding, had been sent to police and the attorney general’s office and would be resolved “according to law and without any favours”.

He said security forces may have had some involvement in the Pastor’s death, but did not elaborate.

“Information and facts that the team has gathered on the ground show an alleged involvement of state forces, even though it could also have been perpetrated by a third party,” said Mahfud.

Military spokesman Colonel Gusti Nyoman Suriastawa in a statement said the military appreciated the findings and promised there would be no cover-up.

The shooting occurred around the same time that two soldiers and a civilian were killed in the same area of the Intan Jaya region, incidents the probe found were perpetrated by armed Papuan groups.

West Papua has been riven by separatist conflict since the former Dutch colony was incorporated into Indonesia, following a controversial United Nations referendum in 1969.

Beka Ulung Hapsara of Indonesia’s human rights commission told Reuters that it was also investigating the incident and would send its recommendations to the president.

Human rights lawyer Veronica Koman told Reuters the government probe was a “one-off, face-saving mission” launched only because the pastor’s death was raised at the United Nations Human Rights Council last month.

Additional reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing and additional reporting by Kate Lamb; Editing by Martin Petty

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