30 September 2008

Bali Bombers and Eid Remissions

In Indonesia when a person is sentenced in a criminal matter they are sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Unlike Australia they are not sentenced to a Head Sentence and a Non-Parole period.

Therefore, prisoners in Indonesia are given remissions for good behaviour and offer things. These remission normally happen twice a year. The first is in recognition of Independence Day and the other is generally at the time of the religious holiday of the prisoner. For Muslims, this would be Eid ul-Fitr (Idul Fitri in Indonesia).

Those prisoners that have been sentenced to life in prison or to death do not get to enjoy any remissions. It is uncommon for death sentences to be commuted to life and similarly for life sentences to be reset to a definite period of incarceration once the sentences have been handed down and affirmed on appeal.

The Department of Law and Human Rights has received recommendations for remissions from throughout the archipelago. These recommendations include nine individuals that were convicted and sentenced to prison in relation to the Bali Bombings I (five individuals) and II (four individuals).

The remissions recommended are for between one and two months. It is worth noting that the nine convicts involved received remissions of five months and three months in August as part of the Independence Day remissions.

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