Monday, March 24, 2008

Schapelle Corby Picture of the Week - 23.3.08

The ACA (A Current Affair) show's wonderful proof that Schapelle and Mercedes together enjoyed a nice meal in a Bali restaurant!

As Brad on the FreeSchapelle Forum said:

LOL .... Definitely Mercedes and Schapelle! Can't you tell?

'Mercedes' is eating a large dish (with meat?). Does anyone know if she is vegetarian? 'Schapelle' is on a liquid diet (knife and fork unused). Restaurant food is unappealing when you can look forward to prison food everyday (even if she cooks it herself) Another give away sign is the prison guard in a red t-shirt pretending to keep an eye on Schapelle. Would be interesting to see if Schapelle had her running shoes on. We know from 'My Story' she's a fast runner.

Next time you see a skinny, long-haired brunette wearing sunnies at night, you can bet your last dollar it will be Schapelle.
For more on ACA's wonderful Schapelle expose's, check out their website's articles and videos on Schapelle Corby - or visit the FreeSchapelle Forum link on my sidebar. Wondeful reading, all of it.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Kay Danes/Foreign Prisoner Support Service Release

Attention: Media Watch
Re: ACA [Ch9] victimisation of Schapelle Corby

As you know, Schapelle Corby is a prisoner in Kerobokan Prison. Recently I tuned into the Australian television ‘A Current Affairs Program’ on Monday evening 3 March 2008. I could not believe that they had compiled an elaborate story to mislead the Australian public. Airing photo's of tourists who resembled Schapelle and her sister Mercedes and alluding that they were in fact, Schapelle and her sister, enjoying a night on the town - unsupervised by prison police.

It was devastating the way ACA compiled the story but more disturbing was the fact that they refused to show the said photographs to Schapelle's distraught mother unless she agreed to view the photo's on air. Then they had the audacity to ask her how she could be so convinced that the photo's were not actual photo's of her daughters. Rosleigh Corby has just lost her former husband to cancer and at the time the photo's were taken, his funeral was underway and Mercedes had flown back to Australia to attend.

I am of the understanding that the girls who took these photographs were attempting to sell them to the Australian media, although I personally cannot verify that. In any case, I strongly believe that Schapelle’s current legal case will suffer as a result of the ACA program and that is more than just unfortunate, it is in my opinion, highly concerning.

Foreign Prisoner Support Service is lodging a formal complaint to the Australian Attorney General's Office in relation to the continued victimisation of Australian detainee Schapelle Corby.

Prisoners are not, and should not, be put at risk simply to increase ratings or to sell more newspapers. The story was nothing more than sensational rubbish based on hearsay from people who don’t even know Schapelle Corby, have never met her or her family!

I am of the opinion that Schapelle Corby’s civil rights are being blatantly violated by Australian media, in particular, A Current Affair [Ch9] in this instance.

Journalists in Australia need to be mindful that inaccurate reporting such as we have seen in this latest media fiasco can have detrimental affects on Australians detained overseas. In fact, given that Indonesia does monitor our media to a greater extent, this could undermine and negatively impact on the current negotiations of the Prisoner Transfer Agreement. The bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia is one that requires a certain level of respect and sensitivity. Clearly the ACA report does not provide support to either.

Schapelle Corby is currently serving a twenty year sentence. She is waiting on a decision from the Indonesian court pending her application for a judicial review. What right does Channel nine or any other media outlet have to report falsely, inaccurately, and in a way that has the potential to negatively impact on any prisoner's current judicial proceedings and/or appeals?

Australian media reports that falsely claim that she is frequently let out of Kerobokan prison and has an easy time in the jail, are completely false but more importantly, they are reckless and insensitive. This type of journalism only undermines her right to be treated fairly and serves to insult the Indonesian authorities and the way in which they manage prisoners and the security of their prisons.

Kerobokan prison is no holiday camp or idyllic paradise, contrary to some media reports. I should know because I’ve been there as a visitor to Australians and foreigners detained there. It’s a disgusting place. Schapelle Corby is doing HARD TIME and is NOT given any special considerations over any other prisoners. She does not leave the prison on trips to the beach or to restaurants or nightclubs. These allegations are completely false and can be verified with Indonesian authorities as false.

These people who went on ACA and reported that they saw Schapelle and Mercedes at some restaurant in Bali are people who have never met the Corby’s. When I watched the program I saw within seconds that it was not Schapelle or Mercedes. At no time did the journalists at ACA approach any of us, who they know could easily verify the photo's, and one has to question why that is? This type of smear campaigning by A Current Affair is unwarranted and is disgusting! I have not seen anything so appalling in my life. I personally witnessed the way ACA begged me and the Corby family to let them into Schapelle’s dilemma at the onset of her trial and their promises to help tell the Australian public what we all knew, that Schapelle wasn’t getting a fair go. Now they turn on her … for what reason? For a story? Is that all that poor girl means to those journalists at Ch9?

The media’s victimisation of Schapelle Corby is not something that I have ever seen before in the history of this country, or elsewhere throughout the world where we [FPSS] are dealing with foreign media on a daily basis.

I am appealing to the Australian public to disregard ACA’s report on Monday evening. I am also appealing to the Australian Civil Libertarians to look into this appalling situation and voice their outrage to the Australian government, if they are to support the proper and fair treatment of Australians detained overseas.

So called ‘experts’ called upon by media to make comments about foreign prisoners being able to buy their way out of Kerobokan prison on day release trips are careless and untrue. Foreigners are not able to ‘bribe’ guards to leave Kerobokan. This is absolute rubbish and Mr. Paul Wilson, a leading Australian criminologist hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about if he truly thinks that is the case! He claims he was taken out of context by the ACA reporter and certainly his statements, as aired, will have a negative effect in Bali. Where is the accountability of journalists searching for a comment to actually make sure that the so-called expert knows what they are talking about in the first place.

The rights of prisoners should be observed and upheld. Schapelle Corby continues to claim innocence and regardless of public opinion, she should be given every right to appeal her case without the continued harassment and hindrance of Australian media and their so-called experts!

The Corby family are constantly dragged into the limelight and portrayed by the media as wacky as the Osbornes - when all they want to do is find a way to bring Schapelle home after such a dreadful ordeal.

I hope ACA’s sensational and inaccurate report does not offend the Indonesian authorities or jeopardise Schapelle’s already precarious situation! Why don’t they do some serious investigative journalism and find out why Schapelle Corby continues to claim innocence?

I would like to see media watch investigate this matter further and take ACA to task. They are quite dangerous in my opinion because the Australian public are lead to make judgements based on falsehoods that are put out there by ACA journalists. Whatever happen to the days when journalists had to check the facts, recheck and then report? Now they appear to be just making things up and not caring who they hurt.

As an International Human rights advocate for prisoners all over the world, I am appalled by the standards or lack thereof in our media industry. There is seemingly very little accountability. Families who are already enduring great hardships both financially, emotionally and physically are plunged even further into a nightmare when they are unable to defend their very public humiliations brought about by certain members of the media.

I implore you on behalf of Australian familes with loved ones detained overseas to do whatever you can to restore ethics, professionalism and accountability in the media sector which is so obviously lacking.


Kay Danes
Foreign Prisoner Support Service
FPSS DVD [with sound]:
Author Website:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Schapelle Corby May Come Home!

Corby may come home

SCHAPELLE Corby's chances of returning to Australia to serve out the rest of her 20-year sentence have been boosted following confidential negotiations.

Home Affairs minister Bob Debus has held high-level talks in Jakarta aimed at finalising a prisoner transfer treaty with Indonesia that could bring Corby home within a year.

Mr Debus met with Indonesia's Attorney-General and Foreign Minister a week ago to hammer out details of the proposed treaty, which has languished over the past 18 months after negotiations stalled on several crucial details.

A signed treaty would allow Corby and at least three members of the Bali Nine to serve out the remainder of their sentences in Australian jails, close to family and in more comfortable conditions than those in Bali's Kerobokan prison.

The government is committed to securing a workable and effective prisoner transfer agreement with Indonesia, Mr Debus said. "I raised the matter at the highest levels with the Attorney-General and the Foreign Minister – the talks were constructive and our two countries are making progress towards resolving some of the ongoing concerns," Mr Debus said.

Corby, arrested in 2004 at Bali's Denpasar airport after 4.2kg of marijuana was found in her body board bag, was jailed for 20 years but has maintained her innocence.

She was denied an expected reduction in her sentence at Christmas because she had been found in possession of a mobile phone several months earlier. Six weeks ago her father died in Queensland after a long battle with cancer.

In the past some members of her family have suggested she would prefer to remain in Kerobokan prison rather than return to Australia. But friends have since dismissed these claims, saying Schapelle would welcome any chance to be close to her Gold Coast family, possibly in a women's correctional centre near Brisbane.

Corby has described Kerobokan prison as a disgusting slum with no running water or power. A plan last year to move her to another jail in Java hundreds of kilometres away was shelved when authorities later declared that conditions at Kerobokan had improved.

It is believed Mr Debus is not the first cabinet minister to raise the possibility of signing off on a prisoner transfer deal since the government's election victory last November.

A succession of Government figures have visited Jakarta since Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has made it clear he wanted relations between Australia and Indonesia to improve during his three-year term. A prisoner transfer treaty is seen as a crucial plank in the new relationship. But several sticking points remain with the Indonesian government remain, including how to marry the Australian system of applying parole conditions with the Indonesia practice of handing out remissions for good behaviour.

While the new treaty is expected to be applied retrospectively, it will not provide any comfort for members of the Bali Nine heroin ring on death row. Six of the nine face death by firing squad, including ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, along with drug mule Scott Rush.

Mr Rudd told Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono shortly after the election that he would make a personal appeal for clemency for the six Australians on death row if their subsequent legal appeals fail.Indonesia has asserted that death row prisoners be excluded from any prisoner transfer treaty because Australia does not practice capital punishment.

The treaty could send three others, including convicted drug mule Renae Lawrence – the only female member of the Bali Nine – to Australia to complete their 20-year sentences.

Australia already has prisoner transfer treaties in place with Thailand, Vietnam and China.

The new treaty with Indonesia was first raised several years ago and former Attorney General Philip Ruddock had hoped to have it signed in 2006.

But negotiations stalled soon after following a deterioration in the relationship between the two countries. By the middle of last year an impasse had been reached that made it seem unlikely the deal would ever be finalised. ... 10,00.html

Oh Crap! It's a newsboys Concert!

After a day of people giving me half-information, backtracking, and a couple of arguments they had, I at last got ahold of a free ticket to the newsboys' GO Tour....20 minutes before time to leave. Five friends from the Caribbean and I drove 45 minutes away to a Freemasons' Abd al-Nouba (something like that) Shrine Mosque, complete with a parking space marked "For High Priest and Prophets Only." We entered to one of the greatest concerts I've ever been to, right near the front, a concert where people could really worship. God was there, and it was amazing.

The newsboys are from Australia, most band members from the Sunshine Coast, and they got their start performing in Australian pubs and clubs. Once their tour car broke down so they jumped through the windows for an intro! Fifteen years later, this group is one of the greatest Christian bands in history, with the hit song "Shine" becoming one of the most recognizable Christian songs in the world. (and yes, we did hear it!) Their worship songs "I Am Free" is used all over churches for worship music, and newsboys even performed it at a Pentagon 9/11 memorial service. newsboys has performed all over the world, including Australia, the US, Morocco, China, the UK, Germany, and Jamaica. The band combines quality musicianship with serious message, but a funky fun time - for instance, the Breakfast song, or Take Me to Your Leader - with mentions of Captain Crunch waving farewell, and of a couple of aliens.

The newsboys left the stage, and everyone started (what else?) shouting "Encore! Encore!" Dean, from San Andres Island in the Caribbean, didn't know what they were shouting and yelled something else. His fiancee Millie corrected him, but he still didn't understand and started chanting "Oh Crap! Oh Crap! Oh Crap! Oh Crap!"

Who could beat the drum-off contest, with lead singer Peter's drumset rising two stories into the air, while Duncan's main-stage drums platform spun sideways, with him on it!

Great vocals, great lightshow, amazing sound, amazing message! Fabulous show!

Followed by a dinner at IHOP and a birthday celebration for Millie, it was a fantastic night!