An Indonesian anti-drugs group says Jakarta’s decision to parole Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby may put the “safety of our nation” at risk, as she prepares to leave prison on Bali.
The 36-year-old could be freed as early as Monday from Kerobokan prison on the tourist island after the decision to grant her early release.
But Corby, arrested in 2004 entering Bali with marijuana stashed in her surfing gear, will walk straight into a media frenzy, with dozens of journalists camped outside Kerobokan and a bidding war for her first post-jail interview in full swing.
Corby’s well-documented mental illness, steadfast proclamations of innocence and fight to be freed from prison earned her sympathy in Australia.
However, the view in Indonesia has been starkly different.
On Sunday, the National Movement Against Narcotics (Granat) issued a strongly worded statement against the parole decision.
“Granat protests parole being granted, even if it is the ‘right’ of the prisoner,” said Henry Yosodiningrat, chairman of the group which has long campaigned against Corby’s early release.
“Crimes committed by Corby or other drug convicts – they are crimes against the safety of our nation.”
“The president should be sensitive to the public’s sense of justice, as the public will be the ones who will be hurt by this clemency shown to Corby.”
He said that five million Indonesians had become drug users or addicts “as a result of drug crimes like those committed by Corby”.
Others urged the government not to grant parole in the run-up to Justice Minister Amir Syamsuddin’s decision on Friday, with a group of eight MPs presenting a letter of protest.