Indonesia President Intervenes for "Bali Boy" Caught With $25 of Pot

As we all know from the travails of Schapelle Corby, the laws of Indonesia and Bali suck.

The latest travesty is "The Bali Boy," a 14 old from Australia, on vacation with his parents, who has been jailed since Oct. 4 when police say they saw him stop and buy $25.00 worth of marijuana (3.6 grams) from a street dealer who had approached him.


"The Bali Boy" (as he's called in the press which mostly isn't naming him) was held at the police station for 19 days, with his parents allowed to visit. Prosecutors have since filed charges, which could keep in in prison 6 years, and were going to transfer him tomorrow to the hellhole Kerobokan prison, where Schapelle Corby, the Bali 9 heroin defendants sentenced to death and numerous rapists, murderers and terrorists are held, to await his trial.

And that's where he'd be tomorrow, except yesterday, Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono intervened personally and directed he sent to an "immigration center" instead.

The head of the Bali office of the Justice Ministry, Taswem Tarib, who also visited the boy yesterday, said the decision not to send him to Kerobokan was taken after it was decided the jail did not meet human-rights standards.

According to Tarib, they realized:

...because of the Human Rights Convention and the fact the Australian boy was a minor, that they must provide adequate facilities for him.

They just learned this? And how do they excuse their parading him in front of the media?

The charges he's facing:

Prosecutors have now signed the summary of evidence prepared by police and as expected will file three charges against the 14-year-old boy...The most serious charge, under article 111 of Indonesia's narcotics laws, could see him jailed for up to six years.

He will also be charged for drug use under article 127, which carries a maximum penalty of fours years in prison, as well as article 128, which may still see the boy avoid jail and go into rehabilitation.

Four or six years for a 14 year old caught buying (not selling) $25 of marijauna? His only way out is to be declared an addict. Naturally, that's the route his lawyer plans to take.

Mr Rifan will pursue a defence that the boy is an addict and should be sentenced to rehabilitation in Australia. But some police and prosecutors fear a backlash if it's perceived he has received preferential treatment.

This Aussie caught with 1/2 gram of meth was lucky to get out jail after four months.

How safe is the Jimabaran immigration jail?

Last year, 22 Afghan refugees escaped from the facility. It is understood there are more than 70 refugees from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq at the facility.

His lawyer says so long as you ignore the you ignored the high walls and barbed wire it's much better than the prison. It will be like a motel room with running water and a toilet.

There are 9 Indonesian children being held at Kerobokan. Shouldn't they also be moved? Apparently not, since only foreigners can go to the immigration center which is called a "quarantine building":

When Amir visited the Kerobokan prison on Saturday, it took him only 10 minutes to declare the facility overcrowded and inhumane for underage inmates, despite the fact it held nine Indonesian children.

....“This quarantine building is for foreigners, not Indonesian citizens. Furthermore, Bali does not yet have a good children’s prison,” he said.

Praise is due President Yudhoyono for intervening and preventing the Bali Boy from going to Kerobokan (which I suspect was probably due more to the pressure from Australia than his personal sentiments), but my feelings remain the same: Boycott Bali. There are beautiful beaches all over the world. There's no good reason to give your tourist dollars to a country that jails 14 year olds for pot with no decent juvenile prison, and executes drug traffickers.

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  • Display: Sort:
    "a good children's prison," (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Mr Natural on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:48:23 PM EST
    - redefining oxymoron.

    Rethinking wish to travel to Bali. (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 07:50:54 PM EST

    Maybe this will convince you (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Oct 23, 2011 at 08:23:35 PM EST
    Check this out if you are having second thoughts that the Balinese don't support their government's actions. Caption from the AP: "Indonesian anti-drug protesters gather outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta yesterday, demanding the death sentence for Schapelle Corby."

    If I May (none / 0) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 11:06:59 AM EST
    ... add the obvious to your quote:
    Boycott Bali.... There's no good reason to give your tourist dollars to a country that jails 14 year olds for pot with no decent juvenile prison, and executes drug traffickers.

    Or end up in prison because some scoundrels decided your luggage would make a great way to transport drugs.

    I would add Singapore to that list as well.

    I'm not a fearful person, and have traveled a fair amount, including the Middle East and S America.  I'm exactly a model citizen in regards to nightlife activities, but southern Indochina scares the H out of me.