Suspected separatists kill social worker in Papua

Assailants overheard accusing Berni Fellery Kunu of being an Indonesian spy prior to his death
Suspected separatists kill social worker in Papua

Berni Fellery Kunu, a Protestant health worker was killed in Papua after being accused of working for Indonesian intelligence. (Photo supplied by Pieter Kunu)

A health worker belonging to a Protestant aid group has been abducted and murdered in Papua by suspected separatists after being mistaken for a government spy, according to Indonesian police.

Berni Fellery Kunu, 24, who worked for the Advent Foundation was stabbed to death on March 29 after several armed men dragged him from his residence in Yabasorom, in Pengunungan Bintang district, police spokesman Ahmad Mustofa Kamal said.

Witnesses said the group was armed with knives and were interrogating Kunu, he said.

"They demanded to know whether he or two of his colleagues were working for Indonesian intelligence," Kamal told reporters.

Friends of the victim became worried after he failed to return home and mounted a search, the spokesman said. 

"While looking for him the next day, they found his body in a freshly dug grave near a riverbank," Kamal said.

The body was recovered and sent to Kunu's hometown in Manado, North Sulawesi, on March 31.

Pieter Kunu, the victim's father told that his son had worked in Papua's remote areas providing help for poor people for several years.

"He loved the job," he said.

He said his son always had a satellite radio on his belt and he would wear pants with lots of pockets to carry medicine and medical equipment.

"Perhaps they suspected he was a spy because of his appearance," he said.

Police are still hunting the killers.




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