Saturday, June 25, 2011

Aussies face double standards at Kerobokan

Kerobokan prison
A Perth man released from Bali's Kerobokan prison a year ago on marijuana charges says conditions at the jail for Australians are horrendous and inhumane.

Robert McJannett says the unsuccessful appeal of Bali Nine member Andrew Chan is "deeply saddening" and urged the Federal Government to bring Australian prisoners there home to serve their sentence.

Mr McJannett spent five months in the Indonesian prison after being arrested at Denpasar Airport in December 2009 with 1.7g of marijuana in his luggage. He was released in May last year.

The former trade unionist praised Mr Chan as a “reformed drug trafficker” and “reborn humanitarian”.

"He’s caring and he’s got compassion,” Mr McJannett said. “He’s got a lot of remorse for what he did.

"I’m sure he feels a bit guilty about those younger fellows in the Bali 9 as well.

"I saw Andrew mentor other prisoners on a regular basis, including looking out for the younger members of the Bali 9, like Scott Rush."

As he revealed on PerthNow's iPad app last night, Mr McJannett said without Mr Chan’s help, he would not have survived his time in prison.

"I’ve got him to thank for getting myself up off the floor and straightening out my health so I could survive in there,” he said.

"He certainly sought me out when I got to the prison. He gave me an attitude adjustment in quite a stern fashion. He was there for me when I needed somebody."

Mr Chan was the organiser of the venture to smuggle 8.1kg of heroin to Australia from Bali. He had his death sentence confirmed for the third time when his final appeal against it was rejected on June 17. His only option now is to plead for clemency from Indonesia’s president.

Referring to the recent sentencing of 15 years in prison for the man blamed for the 2002 Bali bombings, Abu Bakar Bashir, Mr McJannett slammed the “double standards” he said were rife in the Bali judicial system.

"Everyday in Kerobokan prison you see double standards,” he said.

“The corruption there is so out of control that nobody anywhere on the face of this planet can stand up and say that anybody gets a fair trial in the Bali prison system."

Mr McJannett said the Federal Government should bring all the Australians home to serve their sentences here.

"Andrew does not deserve the death penalty, but on the contrary should be returned to Australia along with other Australians suffering the indignation of the corrupt Bali legal system,” he said.

"It’s a much more violent experience for a Westerner in an Asian prison than it is for an Asian in an Asian prison, so the punishment is doubled on that alone.

"What I saw of the Bali 9 is that many of them are suffering from health issues, dental issues and medical issues. Some of them are drug addicts, too. They’re not getting any treatment.

"If they were in Australia, they would be properly looked after; they’d still have to serve out a prison sentence, which is still a big punishment."

Source: Perth Now, June 24, 2011

Related articles:

Jan 13, 2011
Journalist Kathryn Bonella, who has just published Hotel K, a shocking exposé of Kerobokan which reveals it to be a festering cauldron of drug abuse, sex scandals, violence and despair, believes the winds of change have ...
Apr 27, 2011
Governor Siswanto said that the 323-inmate capacity of Kerobokan jail, where the Bali Nine - Andrew Chan, Si Yi Chen, Michael Czugaj, Renae Lawrence, Tach Duc Thanh Nguyen, Matthew Norman, Scott Rush, Martin Stephens and Myuran 
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