Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Indonesian Jails; chalk and cheese.

Now, if you are nothing but a poor sold out Australian pawn like Schapelle Corby or one of the Bali Nine, Indonesian prison means a cramped cell, where you have to rent your mattress space from the cell boss, where the prison food is not fit for your dog and that is before the prison guards play their favorite game of urinating and spitting on it, where drugs are not just available but participation is required (to ensure loyalty to the thugs that operate certain financial aspects of your incarceration), where dengue and malaria and drug resistant TB are the name of the game (hundreds of inmates dying within their first 6 months of arrival), where you are raped or if even more unlucky sodomized by one of the cell bosses and / or prison guards and / or police who are infected with STD's at best, HIV at worse. You can perhaps start to imagine what an abuse of human rights just being kept in an Indonesian jail is.

Ah but then, if you are one of the lucky, chosen few, whose trials and convictions are all arranged with your consent in order to "show" Indonesian justice applies to all, a sham affair where you are guaranteed to be released upon appeal, then your time in an Indonesian jail is slightly different; it is a life of luxury and even freedom. For example bribery convict Artalita Suryani currently serving time at the Pondok Bambu Penitentiary, East Jakarta. Plus corruption convict Aulia Pohan, former deputy governor of the central bank and the father-in-law of President Yudhoyono’s eldest son, serving time at the Kelapa Dua Penitentiary in Depok, West Java.

These "special" inmates as they are termed by the Indonesian prison service have large well decorated rooms to themselves with wide screens, en suite bathrooms, special food privileges and even private entrances / exits to........., you've got it, the street outside. Why, lucky Artalita Suryani even has her own adjacent karaoke room! How lovely!

But do not bank on your luck turning up trumps if you end up in trouble with one of the most corrupt, human rights abusing police in the world, oh no! These luxury "Tommy Suites", so called because they are where Tommy Suharto spent his short amount of time after arranging and paying to have a judge murdered; these are reserved for Jakarta's elite [sic]. Corrupt members of the corrupt society that afflicts everyday Indonesians who get publicly caught out and with that need to be punished without being so; so Indonesia can claim it is fighting draft, etc. The fact is the whole Indonesian state system is corrupt from the top down, so they can not really convict these crooks unless they defrauded the state without consent, without being a part of the corruption pyramid scheme. If they convicted someone from within the ranks they might squeal, so they do a deal, and that deal involves spending time in a Tommy Suite until your appeal is guaranteed to acquit you.

Remember Marwoto Komar, the Garuda pilot who crashed his plane in 2007 crash at Yogyakarta airport killing 21 people. Remember how his legal fees were paid, almost certainly by Garuda. Remember how he wore his Garuda pilot's uniform to court even though Garuda said they had suspended and fired him? Remember how he left court having been convicted smiling, boasting he would soon be free. Marwoto Komar enjoyed a few months in a Tommy Suite and now he is free, acquitted as he predicted. Not only that, we learn he is to be allowed to fly again! So why did Marwoto Komar get the special treatment? Why, because state airline Garuda had a pilot's bonus scheme that caused the crash, that's why! Pilots were paid a bonus if they did not go round on landing a second time, because this saved fuel. About $20 is what Marwoto Komar is believed to have killed 21 people for. But Indonesia could not admit the truth so he had a sham trial and became a special inmate.

Of course first, in the morning of the 11th January 2010, Untung Sugiyono the Indonesian penitentiary director general denied any such luxury prioson cells existed. But as the news and evidence was already in the public domain, it was mearly minutes before both the Indonesian president and Justice and Human Rights Minister Patrialis Akbar admitted there were luxury suites at most if not all the main Javanese prisons, so as not to be caught lying themselves. But this is a road to nowhere because it is every bent official's insurance policy, and as every Indonesian official is bent the practice is hardly likely to change. The "We will do everything possible (with BS)" now starting with Patrialis Akbar stating there will be an investigation "But firstly we will review the level of violation"; ah, the good old Indonesian "review".

Remember this when you go to Bali / Indonesia. Remember what these scum bags get up to, often against foreigners like yourself. Give a thought to all those not so special inmates because their lives are hell. And boycott Indonesia, that includes Bali as well. You stop spending your tourist dollars there; you watch the changes!

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