Twelve days ago marked the one year anniversary of late Jeremiah Jude Yinu. He would have celebrated his 19th birthday next month.
Jeremiah was only 17 years old when he was beaten into a coma by six Papua New Guinean Defense Force soldiers. On October 7th 2015, after being in a coma for about 3 months, Jeremiah sadly passed away leaving behind grief stricken family and close friends.
Jeremiah’s story is similar to many other cases in Papua New Guinea. They say no man is above the law yet people who have undertaken an oath to protect the citizens are feared by the citizens. Yes, this is the norm in PNG. You may have heard about a group of PNGDF soldiers who shot up the University of PNG Medical School in 2013 causing thousands of PNG Kina damage to school and student property and weeks of suspended classes. Why? Because apparently one of the soldiers didn’t like the fact that he had been reproached for cutting the line at an ATM machine. “Recruit and retaliate” is the tendency here.
Although the stupidity is hard to believe, innocent people like Jeremiah have lost their lives because of situations like this. Obviously the entire Defense Force is not to blame. It is just the few maybe more rotten apples who cause chaos and bring shame to the Force and the people.
On the 08th of October 2016, sufficient evidence was found against the six PNGDF soldiers who were involved in Jeremiah’s murder. Trial will continue on the 27th of October.
This will bring small comfort to his family and friends who miss him everyday and are still coming to terms with his untimely death.
Rest in Eternal Peace Jere. We love you.