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Jakarta Post

The tragedy of Indonesia’s international diplomacy

  • Donny Syofyan

Jakarta   /   Sat, May 5 2012   /  12:11 pm

I got a phone call from my family living in Australia recently. They told me about some sad news involving a young Indonesian in Australia’s court system, which is a great issue in the Australian media now.

Ali Jasmin, a 13-year-old boy when he was arrested, was sentenced to a maximum-security prison for adults in Western Australia to be incarcerated with convicted murderers and pedophiles. In addition, my family members were very distraught and emotionally upset when watching the story broadcast on Australian television on April 16.

The boy was recruited to work as a crewman on a boat that was smuggling migrants to Australia in December 2009. A West Australian court determined him to be an adult and found him guilty of people smuggling, although his sentencing documents acknowledged that his only role on the vessel was to cook food for the passengers.

Ali is no...