Author Topic: Bali  (Read 689 times)

Burning Zeppelin

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« on: October 02, 2005, 04:17:07 am »
Just in, another bombing in Bali. Wow, Bali is a pretty fucked up place for a secular nation. I mean, first the drugs, now this...again. Schappelle corby is an asshole who takes in drugs, and Australia is an ass nation who believes shes innocent. People are saying that their laws are too harsh, but at a debate, when we won :D the adjudicator told us that the western nations put those laws in. Australians also go, yeah, lets take our tsunami money back, just because this young, innocent and beautiful (?) girl was caught by the police who were doing there job. The Bali 9 are idiots. Period. Michelle Leslie is an idiot for believing she can get out by saying shes muslim. The Balinese bombers are idiots for saying they are muslim, and are upholding muslim laws. The balinese judicial system is idiotic for being corrupt. The Aus people are again idiots for believing everything the media churns out. The media are money hungry idiots (but oppressed by government and public) for hiding the truth from everyone
THERE has been no public outcry, no TV specials and no government-funded legal representation. But the case of Thomas McCosker, a Victorian man sentenced to two years' jail in Fiji for having consensual sex with a man, is arguably a greater injustice than the case of Gold Coast beauty student Schapelle Corby, given 20 years for drug trafficking in Indonesia.

Homosexual sex is legal in Australia. In Fiji, under British-colonial-era laws against sodomy, it is a crime, and McCosker, 55, now lives in a grimy hotel room waiting for a decision on his appeal.

The former textile worker from Warrnambool never "came out" in Australia, fearing a negative reaction from his family and community.

Known as "Max" to friends, McCosker went to Fiji at Easter to ease the stress of job hunting after being made redundant as a program co-ordinator at RMIT's Hamilton campus.

In Fiji, he met 23-year-old Dhirendra Nadan and had what has never been disputed to be consensual sex.

His trouble started when he reported Nadan to police for allegedly taking $A1500 from his wallet. As he waited for his flight home later that day, April 3, McCosker was arrested and held for five hours without charge.

Nadan had also been held and told police that McCosker had paid him for sex and had taken photographs to be sold on the internet. McCosker denies both allegations, saying they were fabricated by Nadan.

Within 48 hours, McCosker was tried and jailed for two years on two anti-sodomy charges. He had no legal representation. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty denounced the convictions as a violation of human rights.

A Warrnambool neighbour, Alan Richardson, said that after a distressed McCosker called with news of his arrest, Mr Richardson contacted the Australian High Commission in Suva.

Mr Richardson said a consular official rang back that night and reported that "inappropriate images" had been found on McCosker's digital camera and McCosker was likely to be fined. But just 48 hours after his arrest, McCosker phoned saying both he and Nadan had been jailed.

The charges had nothing to do with the alleged theft or the images on McCosker's camera.

An appeal was launched on the basis that Fiji's constitution outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But in contrast to his conviction, four months after his jailing, McCosker's appeal has dragged on.

This week, final submissions were heard in his appeal before the High Court in Suva, which will hand down a decision next Friday.

Some supporters fear that if the appeal succeeds, the police will lay pornography charges.

McCosker says it is tough living in the dingy hotel room he must stay in as part of his bail conditions. "I would have liked the Australian Government to have taken more interest in my case," McCosker told The Age.

The Australian Government has said it cannot interfere.

Mr Richardson said McCosker and his supporters initially tried to secure his freedom without making his private life public.

"We have just been working quietly behind the scenes but we have not been all that successful," he said.

Many of McCosker's friends and family in Warrnambool first learnt of his sexuality through media reports of his jailing.

Gay activist Rodney Croome who took the fight to overturn Tasmania's anti-gay laws to the United Nations 11 years ago said the near-silence in Australia was tantamount to condemnation of McCosker's homosexuality. "It's a terrible indictment on Australian society that a man can have his liberty taken away because of a consenting sexual relationship with another man," Mr Croome said. "And his family, his community, the media and the Government does nothing."

Mr Croome is equally scathing of the Government's failure to condemn Fiji's actions as a human rights abuse. Although Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Justice Minister Chris Ellison have spoken publicly on Corby's case, both referred questions on McCosker to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

A department spokesman said McCosker was "being afforded the normal consular assistance".

McCosker says: "I know in my heart that I have done no wrong."

They so got that from the "what matters" essay our school makes us send to sydney morning herald :D