If the Bali Bomber is released, the Liberal Democrats NSW is calling for the Bali Nine to return home.
Indonesian militant Umar Patek killed 202 people, including 88 Australians, in bombings at Kuta, Bali, in 2002.
Patek is due to walk free from jail early, as Indonesia claims Patek is allegedly “rehabilitated”. This is a slap in the face to the individuals who lost their lives and families, and an insult to Australia.
An unrelated drug trafficking incident in 2005 saw nine Australians, the “Bali Nine”, convicted of attempting to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia.
Five of the Bali Nine are still in Indonesian prisons for their foolish drug smuggling enterprise.
Liberal Democrats NSW president, Dean McCrae, calls on Prime Minister Albanese to stand up for Australians, even the ones who make very silly decisions.
“Australia has a poor record of bringing our own citizens home in these instances,” Dean says.
“We do not endorse the actions of some of these people, but we certainly want them to have the option of being returned home.”
“Two of the Bali Nine members have been executed, and while drug trafficking is an obviously stupid thing to do, the LibDems argue it is a minor matter compared to the deliberate killings by Patek,” Dean says.
Australia has failed as a country to protect its disenfranchised citizens abroad who are denied fair legal representation.
Patek’s early release from jail for “good behaviour” is at odds with the continued incarceration of the Bali Nine offenders.
“We are calling for Si Yi Chen, Matthew Norman, Scott Rush, Michael Czugaj, and Martin Stephens to be returned to Australia,” Dean says.
“Prime Minister Albanese must stand up and demand that these five are returned home.”
“The Bali Nine were clearly wrong, but they are our citizens and have no business being left to rot in Indonesian jails while a mass murderer walks free.”
The Liberal Democrats oppose the murderer Patek being released while Australians are in prison for considerably less serious crimes.