Meeting with the Smugglers and the Smugglees – All are Victims
(Watch the full documentary below)For those people who have been following my most recent often sporadic posts, you would know that language has taken me into the world of People Smugglers, particularly in Indonesia.
I have just spent the past month or so between Malaysia and Indonesia shooting a documentary with journalist Aela Callan for Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme that will be going to air on Thursday the 17th of May – 21:30 GMT and have several re-plays before being available for download from Al Jazeera’s website, or viewable on youtube.
In this documentary, we tried to cover many of the issues that don’t get that much coverage in the mainstream press in Australia. From work I have been doing with lawyer David Svoboda and several other lawyers, we visited a minor who has recently been repatriated to Indonesia after being locked up in a maximum security prison in Brisbane, Australia with murderers and rapists. He tells his story, how he was recruited, tricked, how he told Australian authorities of his age and after first being in a juvenile center, one day out of the blue he found himself being flown to Brisbane destined for an adult prison.
We also visited target areas of the People Smuggling syndicates in some of Indonesia’s most remote islands in Nusa Tenggara, as well as tracked down a smuggler’s safe house and listened as several Afghani refugees untangled the smuggler’s web for us from Afghanistan to Pakistan, Dubai, Malaysia and Indonesia. Some of the questions that I imagine will be being asked after the revelations are:
- How do these people pass over their passports in Malaysia to officials / handlers at Kuala Lumpur airport?
- How do these people get into Indonesia without documentation?
- Who is getting what part of the sometimes up to USD$40,000 that is paid by the refugees?
- How much money is Australia spending on incarcerating poverty stricken fishermen and juveniles?
One Indonesian senator’s take on the whole issue was quite surprising and is sure to raise several questions in Indonesia and Australia.
Here is the full documentary: