Trial by Media for “Convicted Bogan Drug Trafficker”

Following Schapelle Corby’s release on parole this week, there has been an onslaught of opinions, both in mainstream publications, in comments and on social media, with the words “bogan” and “convicted drug trafficker” being repeated over and over again by many people as a pronouncement of guilt. Shades of Lindy Chamberlain here, who was also believed to be guilty by most of the public until her innocence was proven when new (forensic) evidence was found.

In Schapelle Corby’s case we need to keep in mind a few things: No fingerprinting or forensic analysis was ever performed on any of the bags or the substance itself. No CCTV footage was ever provided by any of the three airports she travelled to. She was pronounced guilty by the Indonesian kangaroo court system based only on one piece of evidence: she admitted that it was her bag. A bag that was not in her custody for most of her travel. She and her family then became victims of a government/media smear campaign, which was designed to sway public opinion against her in order to keep relations with Indonesia stable. It worked: her support fell from initially 75% of the public to now less than 10%. (See post below “Expendable”)

Meanwhile Australian airports provide a gladwrapping service for suitcases. Why? Because stories of people being unwittingly used as drug mules abound and were well known to happen even before the Corby case.

Below is an example, straight from the Facebook sewer, of how public opinion has been shaped by the media, with comments calling for restraint and support being few and far between.

While it is understandable that the government has to encourage stable relations with a highly populated muslim country on our doorstep, there is no need for us to fall for the misinformation and we need to wake up to the fact that just like Julian Assange or David Hicks, Schapelle Corby became a pawn in a political game. The reality is : individual lives are expendable and if any of Corby’s detractors ever find themselves in a similar situation, regardless of whether they are guilty or not, their government will not be there to help them. And that is why this story continues to be important : Because you’re next!

Posted on February 12, 2014, in Law & Government, Legal cases, Media, Politics, Queensland. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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