[JURIST] Indonesian authorities on Thursday shortened prison sentences for 10 people convicted in connection with the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings [BBC report] that killed over 200 people. Nine prisoners with sentences between five and 16 years had their sentences cut by four months for good behavior. A tenth had his sentence shortened by 3 months, allowing him to leave the prison gates Thursday. The ten prisoners were convicted on minor charges relating to the bombings, including helping fund the attack and giving refuge to the terrorists that carried out the bombings.
Indonesia conducts a prisoner remission program annually on August 17, marking the country's independence from Dutch colonial rule. Prisoners in good standing typically receive a remission, unless they are death row inmates or serving life sentences. Four prisoners convicted in the 2002 bombing are serving life sentences, while three are on death row, and await their execution [JURIST report] by firing squad sometime this month. Though Indonesia cut the sentences of 54,000 prisoners Thursday, the remissions granted to the ten men involved in the Bali blast sparked public outcries [AFP report], particularly in Australia. Nearly half of the victims of the 2002 nightclub bombings hailed from Australia. In June, Australian Prime Minister John Howard [official website] denounced the release [JURIST report] of an Indonesian Muslim cleric convicted on conspiracy charges [JURIST report] in relation to the bombings. His sentence was reduced [JURIST report] during last year's remission program. Reuters has more.