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A Fickle Fight for Freedom

Schapelle Corby’s Hopes for Parole Temporarily Dashed by Immigration Rule Impasse

(11/16/2012) Australian Schapelle Corby has seen her hopes of an early release from Bali’s Kerobokan prison dashed by a ruling that parole applications for foreign prisoners cannot be processed due to contravening rules from the immigration department.

The Jakarta Globe said that parole application for all foreign prisoners are now being held in abeyance until an authoritative legal clarification is in hand.

Apparently, in order for a foreign prisoner to be released into the community on work release or house arrest that foreigner must have a valid work or stay visa for Indonesia. Most foreigners in Indonesian prisons are “guests of the state” without benefit of visa.

A new regulation from the immigration department forbids the issuance of visas to foreigners on parole from prison.

As a result, a prisons official, Rachmat Priyo Sutardjo, said: “We have suspended parole requests by foreign prisoners as the new immigration law contradicts a current regulation.”

While the principle of parole is to socialize prisoners back into normal society, he continued,
 
“But if they have no visa, they will either be placed in a detention center or they will be deported, so they won’t be able to follow the (parole) regulation.” he added.

The Justice Ministry is now exploring how the regulations can be amended to allow foreign prisoner to be paroled.

Schapelle Corby, 35, has been in prison since 2005 following her highly publicized conviction for smuggling 4.1 kilograms of marijuana from Australia to Bali.

Originally sentenced to 20-years imprisonment, various remissions and sentence reductions means she could now be released in 2017.

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