Two Australians locked up in Bali have contracted the deadly coronavirus and forced into a cramped isolation wing with hundreds of infected men.
Two Australians locked up in Bali have contracted the deadly coronavirus and forced into a cramped isolation wing with hundreds of infected men.

Australian sex offender gets COVID in Bali jail

Two more Australian inmates serving time in Bali's notorious Kerobokan prison are confirmed to have COVID-19.

Convicted Queenslander cocaine dealer Brendon Johnsson, 44, who was jailed for narcotics possession, and serial paedophile Robert Andrew Fiddes Ellis, 74, have the killer virus.

The men have been isolated in Kerobokan's wing that is known among prisoners as Cell T - for rat cell and share the space with 624 other infected men - which is more than half the

prisoners.

 

American murderer Tommy Schaffer - who killed his girlfriend Heather Mack's socialite mother Sheila von Wiese Mack in 2014 and packed her body into a suitcase, is also among those confirmed to have coronavirus.

Last month, illness raged through the prison and the jail clinic was overwhelmed with prisoners suffering with raging fever and having difficulty breathing.

According to Kerobokan prison warden, Mr Yulius Sahruzah, Johnsson and Ellis appear healthy and displayed no symptoms. Another Bali Nine gang member, Matthew Norman tested negative to COVID-19 and remains in the main body of the prison.

"Independent tests were carried out on the Australians, funded by the Australian Consulate," Mr Sahruzah said.

 

The isolation is dramatic action for the prison which was built in 1979 to hold a total of 320 prisoners, but now jams more than 1400 into the same space, and could led to unrest.

The jail has been on permanent lockdown since COVID-19 hit Bali in March. Inmates have not been permitted visitors for eight months.

According to Bali's head of the Law and Human Rights Ministry's, Mr Suprapto, prisoners in the cramped cells lack nutrition, exercise, sleep and many suffer from depression.

"All inmates are wearing masks. We also provide a place to wash hands. But keeping your distance in prison is difficult. We have cleared a block in Kerobokan Prison to be used as a

quarantine place for prisoners who are confirmed positive," Mr Suprapto said

 

BALI NINE DRUG SMUGGLER HAS COVID-19

Last week, it emerged a member of the infamous Bali Nine drug smuggling ring had contracted coronavirus inside the notorious Kerobokan prison on the Indonesian island.

Si Yi Chen, now 35, is one of three Australian prisoners who have been infected with the virus and have been moved into an isolation wing, Nine News reported.

Chen is serving a life sentence for his part in attempting to smuggle 8.3kg of heroin out of Indonesia, into Australia in 2005.

 

Bali Nine member Si Yi Chen who is serving life in jail. Picture. Lukman S. Bintoro
Bali Nine member Si Yi Chen who is serving life in jail. Picture. Lukman S. Bintoro

Ringleaders of the group Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were sentenced to death and executed on April 29, 2015, while six other members including Chen were given life sentences.

The ninth member of the group, Renae Lawrence, was given a 20-year sentence, which was commuted in 2018, leading to her early release.

The prison has reported 100 cases of coronavirus within its walls, but inconsistent screening suggests their could be many more.

Security provider John McLeod, who helps Aussies locked up overseas, said results were taking weeks to come back, meaning they could be placed into an isolation wing with people who were actively sick, while they had recovered since their testing.

Earlier this month, News Corp reported illness had swept through the prison, with the jail clinic flooded with inmates complaining of a fever and difficulty breathing.

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Originally published as COVID hits Aussie paedo, drug dealer in Bali jail


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