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Letter to Yasmi below (also sent to The Jakarta Post), with multiple links for verification:
I note your recent article about Schapelle.
You suggest the Australian public are “Delighted” with the 5-year reduction in her sentence. Actually, we’re not. She’s obviously innocent, as these recently leaked minutes of a 17 October 2005 New South Wales Crime Commission meeting prove (backed by all the further evidence at The Expendable Project) - plus she’s seriously mentally ill, and probably won’t survive another 5 years in that hell hole. And there’s another big issue Australians have major problems with, the massively severe and highly discriminatory sentence she was given.
Lets’ get this straight Yasmi, many Aussies are extremely angered by the recent, paltry 20 year term given to the Indonesian terrorist Umar Patek, who helped murder over 200 people (including 88 Australians), and are comparing it to Schapelle’s 20 year stretch for 4.2 kilos of marijuana - as did my recent (widely distributed), Letter to the Editor.
Further still, the highest sentence ever given to an Indonesian (for a similar amount of marijuana), is just five years, and one Indonesian found with 161 kilos of the drug (nearly 40 times the amount found in Schapelle’s bag), got just 10 years. That’s confirmed in a 2005 fax sent to ex-Australian Prime Minister John Howard, by Schapelle’s Indonesian lawyer - and it’s further backed up by all the facts and figures (re comparative Indonesian sentences for this crime), just supplied to her support group by the Indonesian human rights activist Arifin Wardiyanto, who has vowed to fight for her.
And when I asked the alleged “Indonesian law expert” Prof Tim Lindsey (both in writing, and through voicemail messages I left), to back up his public claims her sentence was “Lenient” by Indonesian standards (by supplying me with the details of previous, similar cases), he completely ignored my efforts. When I complained to the Dean of his University about this, she outright refused to intervene, and outright refused to supply me with the information I was asking for herself.
I think I should also mention . . .
- Most of the Bali bombers are already free.
- A Bali robber got just 15 years after he slaughtered a young Australian woman with 37 deep knife wounds to the heart and kidney, because the Bali judge said he “Didn’t mean” to kill her (personally, I think it was a pretty good effort).
- Three Indonesian men involved in decapitating three children on their way to school got the same (and lesser), sentences than Schapelle.
- Drug dealing Bali jail Mohammad Sudrajat got just 4 years.
And one other point? Those facts are also well-documented in this flyer which has already been handed out on the streets (and outside the supermarkets), of Australia - with further action planned this coming Saturday in central Brisbane (a very sensitive area, electorally speaking), and with more events coming in Perth. And that’s not going to stop while Schapelle remains in jail - and to push home the truth even harder, we’re taking out large news-ads in the coming months (containing these details), in some of Julia Gillard’s most marginal electorates.
You also claim President SBY is “Under fire” for granting Schapelle a 5-year reduction in her sentence. So tell me Yasmi, why wasn’t he “Under fire” from the same people when he granted mercy to some members of the Bali 9? That’s why I believe the recent “Protests” against Schapelle have been politically orchestrated by the same corrupt b*****ds who are happy to see an innocent woman in hell, to protect gross and ongoing corruption at Australian airports, and the fact ex-Australian Prime Minister John Howard prioritised the profits of his corporate mates (who own Sydney Airport Corporation), over aviation security, because adequate security costs money. So I don’t believe these Indonesian “Protests” against Schapelle represent genuine, grass roots feeling against her. Do you think we’re that naive? I didn’t come down with the last shower, and neither did many other Australians.
As for your points about Indonesian people smugglers jailed in Australia, I too disagree with mandatory sentencing and the jailing of minors - but let’s get real. You cannot compare 5 years in an Australian prison with 20 years in a squalid Bali shit hole. Having worked in the Australian correctional system, I can assure you that all prisoners in this country get a full, varied and adequate diet, plus complete (and free) medical, dental and psychiatric care, a full range of leisure and educational facilities, clean running water and hygienic conditions, air conditioning, and they’re not packed into their cells like sardines in a can. If you were forced to make the unpleasant choice Yasmi, which would you take - 5 years in a Perth jail, or 20 years in Kerobokan? It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?
As for the three Indonesian fishermen you mention accused of smuggling heroin (and jailed in Australia), maybe they were unaware of the situation, and maybe they were innocent victims. If so, I hope they get justice. Maybe you could put your energies into campaigning for them? Let’s hope their Australian trial wasn’t as corrupt an unfair as the one Schapelle got in Bali, which breached both Indonesian law, and international law - and let’s hope the judge in their case wasn’t as incompetent as the one who condemned Schapelle.
Further, you make yourself look ridiculous by believing in an illicit flow of marijuana FROM Australia, TO Bali. This “Trade” has never existed (as confirmed in a recent letter from Australian Customs), because it’s economically insane. A single Australian news article on the eve of Schapelle’s Bali verdict claimed otherwise, but every “Source” they quoted was anonymous, and none of these “Anonymous” claims were backed up by verifiable outlets (policing or academic). When challenged on this, neither the journalist in question (or his publication), would provide verification - and they also outright refused to explain why they’d failed to check their story with acknowledged experts in international drug and crime trends (such as the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime, and others).
Lastly, while Indonesia may choose to keep an innocent Australian locked in hell for longer than most murderers and terrorists (for 4.2 kilos of marijuana), be very aware this grave injustice is not going unnoticed. It’s on the TV, in the womens magazine's, in the newspapers (regional and rural), on the radio, in electorally sensitive local news ads (scroll to page three), on the streets (all the time), via public exhibitions, on Twitter (continuously), promoted via Facebook and email signatures, seen on noticeboards, bumper-stickers, business cards, fridge magnets (placed in staff tea rooms) and via high-profile labels in busy shopping malls (during peak periods). And one more thing? There’s also a new film in production by one of Australia’s leading film producers.
You want to improve bi-lateral relations? Then free Schapelle.