Kerobokan Prison Evacuation On Hold: Confusion Reigns

The evacuation of Kerobokan Prison is not going according to plan. Consular officials met with the foreign prisoners, and most, including Schapelle Corby and 8 of the Bali 9, don't want to leave and be relocated. They said adapting to new surroundings would be too difficult. Officials didn't want to remove them against their will.

Bali 9 inmate Scott Rush, serving life, is one who did want to leave and was seen leaving in one of the buses, only later to return. The Jakarta Globe says those leaving are being transferred to Bali’s Karangasem penitentiary. Earlier, authorities said they would be moved to Klungkung. Yet other officials say the prisoners will go to Porong prison, just south of Surabaya.

Evacuations have ceased for the evening, and authorities say they will continue tomorrow. [More..]

At first authorities said prisoners wouldn't be moved against their will. That may change. A few news reports say they will remove all 60 foreign prisoners. According to another report, as of the time evacuations ceased:

Four Western men were driven away on one of the buses, followed by nine women - including Westerners and Asians - on a second bus. Seventeen Indonesian inmates were seen leaving aboard a third bus.

But another report says after removing 31 inmates, including 14 foreigners, authorities later returned 13 of them at their request.

Initially, plans were to remove all 1,015 prisoners in two stages, with foreigners, women and juveniles leaving first. Fires had made the prison unable to be secured, requiring evacuation of all.

Prison authorities in Bali backed down from a threat to forcibly move 1015 prisoners from the jail in urban Denpasar, and by late last night had moved a small fraction of that. Mr Syamsuddin emerged from the prison about 4.50pm local time to tell reporters that lists of those being evacuated were being prepared, with a priority for women and foreigners, and that they would be evacuated immediately. He said anybody who did not volunteer would ''still be secured elsewhere''.

Now it's on hold until tomorrow. There's no food, electricity or water. No word yet on whether the the 13 juveniles have been moved. Prison authorities say except for the women's block:

“[I]t can be said that all the facilities at the jail are now damaged.”

Here's a great line from Bali officials:

"Following mediation, the prisoners have promised not to cause any more anarchy," Hariadi said.

Why doesn't Bali offer to turn the Aussie prisoners over to Australia? If Indonesia can't keep them safe, and house them in compliance with human rights standards, it should relinquish control of them and let Australia take them home.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Heartbreaking as it is (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by Towanda on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 08:26:27 PM EST
    to think about Schapelle Corby amid that mess, it's horrifying to read, throughout this coverage, that juveniles are there.  Get. Them. Out.