Oktovianus K Betera (18) was murdered in cold blood by an Indonesian military personal in Asiki district of Boven Digoel regency West Papua on Friday 24th July 2020 around 3:00 pm local time. The military personnel forced the relatives to bury the body in secret under heavy military escort on the same day without proper mourning. The killing was done in minutes by several members of the KOSTRAD Indonesian military personnel based in the area.
The victim’s father Mr Herman Betera and mother Mrs Esebia Komberem Betera were shocked to hear their son’s unexpected death on that afternoon for no reason. Their son Oktovianus was an hardworking child who listens to their instructions well in a Melanesian family setting who was sent by them to the local store to by household items for dinner that evening when the military end his life without mercy.
When he was at the store an unexpected misunderstanding happened and he had an argument with the shop owner on the unnecessary increase in the prices of goods in the store. The shop owner called the nearby Indonesian military command post and informed them about the incident which they responded in minutes to the call.
The Indonesian military beat the innocent child to death within minutes mercilessly without questioning and or doing investigations of the matter between the Indonesian immigrant the store owner and Oktovianus. The military then proceeded to buy a coffin for the body at the same time, put the body in the coffin and nailed the coffin and presented the body inside the coffin to his parents and forced them under gun point to bury the body on that same afternoon.
The poor parents were shocked to hear unexpected death of their son on that fateful evening but they were suppressed by the military not to talk but bury the body and keep the incident a secret. They were traumatised emotionally at the same time fear of losing their lives as well at the moment.
No mobile phones or cameras were allowed during the burial program that was organized by the Indonesian military, only the immediate family members of the 18 years old kid was allowed to attend the burial site and they were forced to keep the whole issue between themselves. The community leader Mr Kanisius Benbop reported the matter to Dandim 1711 Boven Digoel but they assured him not to talk and keep the matter secret.
This is the sixth incident of extrajudicial killings of West Papuans by Indonesian military in the same area. The military do the murder with impunity without any remorse. They think they are above the law and can do anything to West Papuans who were looked down as second class citizens of Indonesia.
The world need to hear the cries of West Papuan people, the painful memories of Mr and Mrs Betera is so deep that any parent in the world who feels for them should support the West Papua freedom struggle to achieve independence for the West Papuan people.