The Great Moral Dilemma
At the outset let's be clear:
WE AGREE that people who commit crimes should serve a prison term and this includes drug traffickers.
The majority of arrestees are first-time-offenders driven by the claws addiction. Most are addicts, often naive and ignorant. They are not pre-meditative psychopathic murderers and are ordinary people like you and I who need help with rehabilitation, not torturous barbarism, injury, neglect, starvation and separation from families on a global scale.
We are not referring to the drug trade as a whole. We are aware of the increasing problem in our country with Crystal Meth, known to many South Africans as TIK and this drug is not imported. It is manufactured locally with a combination of household chemicals like drain cleaner. We will be dedicating an entire page to the horrors of Crystal Meth (see the link at the left)
Drug Mules transport mostly Cocaine, Heroin and Hashish which are all very expensive. Some sell for up to R800 a Gram making them unaffordable to children or teens who are getting involved in this destructive pass time. Users of these drugs are usually adults in a higher earning bracket. The thing is, these people think they are clever. They think despite the alarming statisitcs that they, for some reason, are immune to addiction and ignore the symptoms and four-steps to drug dependency. As a result, these 'high earners' seldom remain as such. These addictions have been proven to destroy lives. The facts are clear as day but the point is, the choice to do these drugs is an adult decision.
DRUG MULING - MYTH vs REALITY
- Drug Mules are the wealthy fat-cats of the drug business.
- Drug Mules transport Crystal Meth
- Drug Mules deserve the barbaric torture they are receiving
- Drug Mules do this for the money.
- Drug Mules are desperate people taking desperate and stupid measures.
- Drug Mules are near the bottom of the 'food chain' in the drug business.
- Being a Drug Mule is the single most stupid thing a person can subject themselves to.
- Drug Mules do not deserve the barbaric torture they are experiencing. They need rehabilitation!
REMEMBER: each of these prisoners WILL be released back into society soon or later. Extreme and barbaric treatment over a period of years will certainly alter a personality. What do we want, a timid and stupid addict undergoing rehabilitation or would we prefer to have, living next door to us, a person who, after being forced to survive amongst prison gangs becomes mentally altered and a gang-fighter themselves??? This would undoubtedly fuel the cycle of re-offending!
CONSIDERING THE RAPID RATE AT WHICH THIS PROBLEM IS ESCALATING IN OUR COUNTRY, SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS TO ACT TOGETHER AND QUICKLY TO CURB THIS TERROR.
Where there is a demand there will ALWAYS be a supply. We do not need to stop the supply. We cannot stop the supply. The USA has been fighting an increasing Drug War for over 30 years, spending Billions of Dollars yet, it continues.
We will NEVER stop the supply! We must stop or at least curb the demand!
Education and awareness is the ONLY way.
In June 2007, according to a Carte Blanche broadcast there were 536 South Africans jailed abroad. Eighteen months later, the number has risen to 865. That is an increase of 329 arrests.
This means, on average, that EIGHTEEN South Africans
are being arrested in foreign countries EVERY MONTH !
A typical story might go something like this: So a person falls into the abyss of addiction, hasn't held down a job in months, has lost cars, furniture, friends and family so as a last resort chooses to run a Mule job because the money is good, it's quick and will be a great help.
- Right there, we see two choices that a person has made;
- has chosen to use drugs while ignoring personal responsibility and symptoms of addiction.
has consciously chosen to transport illicit drugs.
"If you can do the crime you MUST be prepared to do the time."
Yes, we agree. When you break the law you pay a price and being locked up is the price.
"Serves them right!! They knew it was illegal"
Yes, again we agree. They did know it was illegal but as for 'serves them right'... no human being deserves the barbaric and inhumane treatment our people are now living with. It is becoming more and more apparant that most of these people had no idea what they were really letting themselves in for. We all have a vague understanding about prison sentences but until I found myself in the situation of 'carer to a loved one locked up in a foreign country' even I had little perception of the actual reality. People are going in blindly and the consequenses are extreme. If this website provides enough information to prevent just one person from going down this road, then we will have succeeded.
Allow me to get up on my soap box for a minute...
Personally, I have a hard time believing that addiction, be it drugs or alcohol can be called a disease. Yes, a person can be genetically predisposed to addiction and addiction is a gruelling experience. A disease is illness that invades your body without your knowledge or consent and progresses unaided. Addiction ALWAYS starts and ends with conscious choices and actions, with progression or abstinence requiring active input from the individual. They must personally carry out the action of using or stopping. A cancer patient has no control. For me, addiction is addiction, not disease.
Almost every inmate screams "I'm innocent, I was framed" and while there certainly are some cases where a person has indeed been framed, when you review the facts, there is often a connection to drugs, somewhere.
Before we go on... let's say that it's not only addicts and users who are falling into this terror-trap. Many ordinary people are being targetted, particularly those who are in financial difficulty.
SO WHY SHOULD WE SUPPORT THESE PEOPLE? WHY??
This is truely a moral dilemma. We know and understand the law and although we personally abide by it, to a greater or lesser degree, the issues of drug related charges make us all want to stand up and shout "shouldn'ta dunnit!" But the more you look at it, the more you begin to understand that these punishments are like shooting a mosquito with a cannon! Perfect example: Schapelle Corby, the Australian woman in Bali who was sentenced to... get this... DEATH.. BY FIRING SQUAD ...for carrying WEED !?!?!? WHAAAT?!?!? The people of Australia protested this heavily and so her sentence was commuted to 20 years, but still, there has been MUCH controversy about this case.
MEET Schapelle Corby.
Does she look like a cold-blooded murderer to you? Looks can be deceiving but not even Neil Entwistle or Josef Fritzl got the Death Penalty... and how horrific were their crimes?? Is this justice? What's this woman going to do?
Hold you down and force you to smoke till you die laughing?
Seriously, isn't this just the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard of? I'm sure Bali's tourist trade has taken a dive since this case broke. Support Schapelle Corby here.
No More Tomorrows The Compelling True Story of an innocent woman sentenced to twenty years in a hellhole Bali Prison.
Order Schapelle's book here. International Best Seller.
Over four kilograms of Marijuana had been planted in her bag after she'd checked it in and she was forced to face the consequences of someone else's crime in a country where the penalties for drug smuggling are among the harshest in the world. This book will shock, surprise and stay with you long after you've finished the last page.
In the interests of HUMANITY, guilty or innocent, these are not pre-meditative psychopathic murderers. It is not their intention to kill, maim or destroy. Let's not prosecute the gun factory when a person is shot and killed. Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Let's not blame the car manufacturers when a person kills himself while driving drunk! People like Corby and every one of our own South African citizens rotting in prisons all over the world are not the last stop for people using drugs. The people themselves are. They make the choice to use.
This punishment DOES NOT fit the crime. The punishment is the incarceration .. NOT the inhumane conditions they are forced to survive under, the torture and the neglect. In addition this punishment is extremely cruel as it affects the entire family too. The extradition of South Africans detained abroad, and the deportation of foreigners in South African prisons is way overdue. Yes, our prisons are overcrowded but so are the prisons in other countries. Why should those country's tax-payers pay for the incarceration of foreigners. In the very same light, why is South Africa holding THOUSANDS of foreigners instead of sending them back to their respective countries? The tax payers of South Africa are footing the bill for thousands of foreigners. SEND THEM HOME AND BRING OUR PEOPLE BACK !
The Mauritian, Peruvian and Venzuelan Governments have asked the South African Government extradite it's people on humanitarian grounds. They do not want foreign detainees. Rightly so! Maurituis has even suggested compiling a simplified Agreement so as to avoid lengthy 'red-tape'. The South African Government has responded with a "go to hell" attitude. Our people are already there!
The psychological impact of incarceration under inhumane conditions such as this WILL MOST CERTAINLY render these people mentally and/or emotionally DISABLED. Is this conducive to the modern vision South Africa wants for it's people?
Is this inhumane treatment considered as rehabilitiation or is blatant neglect and non-interest in it's citizens by the South African Government what this country is all about in 2009?
WE ARE NOT ASKING FOR THESE PEOPLE TO BE SET FREE.
WE ARE ASKING FOR THEM TO BE BROUGHT HOME TO
SERVE THEIR TIME NEAR THEIR FAMILIES AND IN THEIR
OWN COUNTRY WHERE THEIR NATIVE TONGUE IS SPOKEN.
If there are major discrepencies in their trials, they should be re-tried under their own law system. Fair Trials in London is an organisation that investigates unfair trials. Johann Gerber, just 19 when he was arrested could not be assisted by Fair Trials as there is no appeal system in Mauritius but they did find discrepencies.
IN OTHER WORDS, JOHANN GERBER DID NOT RECEIVE A FAIR TRIAL. HE WAS ALSO DENIED LEGAL COUNCIL.