While Australia's media courts Schapelle Corby with multi-million-dollar interview deals to 'celebrate' her freedom, the Indonesian media's reaction to her release on parole has not been so jubilant.
Local media has long dubbed Corby the Marijuana Queen, and on her release has raised questions about the politicisation of her case.
Antara, the state news agency, reported that the National Movement Against Narcotics (Granat) sees her release on parole as a threat to Indonesia's safety. Granat's chairman, senior lawyer Henry Yosodiningrat, said Corby's parole was inconsistent with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's stated zero-tolerance approach to drug-related crimes.
'Corby and other drug convicts should not be granted their rights because their crimes impact the safety of Indonesia's future generation', Yosodiningrat said.
The comment came in response to a statement by Justice and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin, who said 'the parole is not a policy of the government or a generous act by a minister. It is a right that is stipulated in law and regulations.'
Kompas, Indonesia's biggest national newspaper, called Corby's release an embarrassment to Indonesia. The story quoted Golkar Party Vice Secretary Tantowi Yahya as saying that the decision to grant parole contradicted a 2011 presidential instruction for the National Anti-Narcotics Agency (BNN) to clamp down on drug-trading syndicates, including those with connections overseas.
'Not only is (Yudhoyono) not supporting the implementation of the presidential instruction, he is in fact humiliating and weakening the function and the mandate of the BNN, and the people, in combating drugs', he said.
News portal okezone.com took an unusual angle by interviewing Dhira Naraya, head of the National Marijuana Legalisation movement. After making a valid point about the large number of young Indonesians imprisoned for possession of small amounts of marijuana, Naraya went on to make the highly dubious claim that 'the decision to grant parole to Corby is an indication that the government is moving towards legalising marijuana.'
Naraya called for a change in government and for marijuana to be legalised, as he believes it is 'all over the world.' At least one of his wishes will be granted this year as Yudhoyono wraps up his final term as president, but seeing the outspoken reaction to Corby's case in the Indonesian media, the other wish will definitely have to wait.
Photo by Flickr user Gilzee.