Nearly 20 years after Tiorina Ferawati Malpaung suffered a permanent eye injury in the Bali bombings, the news that one of the ringleaders may be released early is a new trauma. caused
Indonesia’s recent commutation of Omar Patek’s prison sentence was revealed last week by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and confirmed by AFP.
That’s a grim outlook for survivors of the attacks that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
“It’s not that I don’t respect the rights of others, but he harmed survivors and families with his evil and inhumane acts,” Marpaung told AFP by phone from Denpasar, the resort island’s largest city. Told.
The smell of smoke evokes vivid memories of an explosion in which shards of glass flew into her eyes, Marpaun said.
Patek, a member of an al-Qaeda-linked group who was captured in the same Pakistani town where Osama bin Laden was killed, should remain locked up, she said.
“Let him do what he deserves as a prisoner of terrorism, not like the chicken thief we can easily forgive.
But Indonesia says Patek has abandoned its extremist beliefs after completing a deradicalization program.
He was granted a commutation on August 17 after serving two-thirds of his 20-year sentence and showing progress toward reform, said Teguh Wibowo, a spokesman for the Ministry of Law and Human Rights in East Java. rice field.
“He has been dutifully undergoing a deradicalization program and has behaved well in prison,” Wibowo said, referring to Indonesia’s reintegration plan to force terrorist prisoners to abandon extremism and pledge allegiance to the state. Mentioned.
The attacks on nightclubs and bars are among the deadliest in Indonesia’s history, leading to a crackdown on militants in the country with the world’s largest Muslim population.
The attackers, who were tied side by side to wooden posts on the tiny prison island, were executed by firing squad in 2008 after a year-long investigation.
– “Contempt” –
It turns out that Patek manufactured the bomb used in the attack on Bali, a Hindu island popular with foreign tourists.
He was captured with a $1 million bounty on his head after being on the run for nearly a decade.
Prosecutors sought only a 52-year-old life sentence for premeditated murder after he showed remorse during his trial in 2012.
Release from prison requires approval from the Indonesian Ministry of Justice.
For a survivor of the attack, the thought of him getting out of prison and living a normal life is unbearable.
“Deep down, I don’t accept it, but I try to accept it,” said Chusunur Chotima, another survivor with severe burns that left scars on his face and body.
Australia is also angry at the news of Patek’s reduced sentence.
The country lost 88 civilians in the attack. This is the highest number among her 21 countries whose citizens have been killed.
Albanese said Patek’s actions brought nothing but “contempt” and disgust, and said his early release would only renew the pain and trauma of the victims’ grieving families.
However, Chotima said he met with Patek’s relatives and learned that they were also suffering from the tragedy perpetrated by Patek.
The 52-year-old is trying to come to terms with what happened to her despite news of a possible Patek release before the anniversary that changed her life.
“The longer the resentment lasts, the more it hurts,” she said.