Australians are already tossing up whether to avoid Bali as a holiday destination in light of the Indonesian government’s apparent intransigence over the upcoming execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran for trying to import heroin to Australia, despite their obvious rehabilitation during ten years in prison.
News that Indonesian President Widodo did not even consider the facts of the mens’ case before rejecting their appeal for clemency – including urgings from their prison governor that they not be executed as they are so useful in the prison – has created considerable anger in Australia, and lawyers for the pair – the so-called “Bali2” – are seeking to use the unseemly rush to shoot them as cause for appeal in Bali today.
Now news emerges that Indonesian police identified but let go a man accused of brutally raping a teenage Perth woman in Bali on Christmas Day, allowing him to escape the island.
The man allegedly assaulted the 19-year-old in a sustained attack that began in a villa and continued during a traumatic 30-minute taxi ride after she tried to escape.
When the woman reported the assault the next morning, she was subjected to a “virginity test”, watched on by medical students in Bali’s Sanglah Hospital. As if whether or not she was a virgin determined whether or not she had been raped.
She has been in hospital twice since her return to Perth for an aggressive sexually transmitted disease – “a revolting, painful reminder” – and must wait four months on an HIV test.
Her parents have now appealed for help to find her attacker.
Hours after the alleged assault, the woman named the man she said had raped her as Henry Alafu, identified him and led Bali police to the Jimbaran villa where the incident took place.
But police did not arrest the 25-year-old and told the woman they wanted to follow him to Jakarta so he would lead them to a “bigger network of criminals”.
The man is now believed to be on Java with a fresh warrant out for his arrest. “As the days and weeks go by we lose hope that there will be any justice,” the woman’s mother said yesterday.
The teenager said she was still fragile. She felt violated twice after getting no choice but to have the invasive virginity test she was told was necessary to report a rape to police.
“The hospital report confirmed I had been raped and assaulted,” she said.
“The police issued a warrant for his arrest. I don’t understand why he hasn’t been arrested.
“This man raped, threatened and humiliated me. He laughed in my face at my fear and helplessness.
“I was terrified. I have had my fair share of nightmares since the incident. Sleep is still difficult.”
In the days after the assault, the family employed a Balinese law firm to help. It billed them $US13,500 ($17,300) for six days work, including $US400 for replying to an email from the mother.
Her mother, who was holidaying in Bali with the 19-year-old and her younger sister, said the whole family had been traumatised by the rape and aftermath.
Young women, in particular, might consider that there are safer and equally inexpensive places to holiday in Asia than the island which combines a great sense of fun – as well as serene beauty in its hinterland, and the kindness of most of its people – with a very poor record for holidaymaker safety.