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Father urges Indonesian police to finally deliver justice

Son's horrific killing still unsolved, despite the evidence

Jackson Wayongkere has campaigned for police to arrest his son's killers Jackson Wayongkere has campaigned for police to arrest his son's killers
  • Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • September 19, 2012
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It has been more than two and a half years since Jackson Wayongkere watched his son Kristian Duvan run home screaming and on fire.

Four days later, on January 6, 2010, the 11-year-old died from severe burns in a hospital in Manado, North Sulawesi. Ever since, his father has failed to win justice for his son.

At about 8 pm on January 2, a Saturday evening, Duvan was heading to a market near his home when two adults approached him on a motorbike and took him to a dark alley. It was only 100 ms from his house.

Without warning, the two men then allegedly doused him with gasoline and set him on fire.

“My son rushed home. I could see his burned body and flames still covering some parts of his body,” said Wayongkere. “I immediately took him to a nearby hospital.”

While Duvan received treatment for severe burns, his father took a video as evidence. He recorded his son saying that two neighbors had been responsible for the attack, one of whom he identified as Marvel, using the suspect's first name only.

It was to be Duvan’s final act.

Before he was set on fire and died, Duvan had allegedly been involved in a dispute with a neighbor named only as Epang, Marvel’s best friend.

Police arrested Marvel and another unidentified man based on the evidence provided in the video.  But after testifying they had been having drinks 300 ms away from the scene when the incident happened, the pair were released.

Police then said the video could not be used as evidence because it was made by the victim’s family.

“The perpetrators are obviously there,” said Wayongkere. “Why can’t the police prove it? I want justice.”

Meanwhile, police continued their investigations and arrested another neighbor: Bu Rin, a market stallholder who reportedly saw the incident but did nothing to help.

When the police named her as a suspect and filed evidence with the court, it rejected their trial request, saying the files submitted were insufficient and far from clear. Bu Rin too was released.

Since then, the investigation has hit a brick wall despite numerous police visits by Wayongkere and impassioned pleas to reopen what is now a closed, unsolved case.

“I am questioning their work," he said. "Why didn’t they use the video as evidence? Why did they believe only what Marvel had to say? In fact, my son clearly mentioned the perpetrators’ names."

Last year, with the case heading nowhere, Wayongkere headed to Jakarta to seek help from the National Commission for Human Rights. It duly started its own investigation while urging the police to do their job.

Last week, he sought help from another organization, the National Child Protection Commission. Its Secretary, Muhammad Ihsan, agrees that Duvan's death must be investigated further.

“This wouldn’t only aim at arresting the perpetrators but also preventing similar cases from happening,” said Ihsan.

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