Bali police deny transphobia, violence, extortion in the death of Harvard fellow

Amid ongoing protests from LGBTQIA+ activists in Peru following the demise of Harvard pupil and activist Rodrigo Ventosilla in Bali earlier this month, police in Bali have denied any wrongdoing following his arrest on the Ngurah Rai Worldwide Airport.

As beforehand reported, Rodrigo’s arrival in Bali on Aug. 6 for a honeymoon together with his husband Sebastian Marallano become a nightmare when the previous was arrested after suspected cannabis-derived merchandise have been present in his baggage.

The household mentioned that Sebastian, who arrived in Bali on a separate flight, was additionally detained after he got here to help Rodrigo.

What adopted was a collection of occasions described by Rodrigo’s household as “racial discrimination and transphobia,” as each Rodrigo and Sebastian are trans males. They mentioned the police disadvantaged the pair of outdoor communication and the appropriate to authorized protection in addition to “irregularly demanded exorbitant sums of cash that elevated over the hours, from 13,000 to 100,000 {dollars} for each.”

The household mentioned that on Aug. 9, each Rodrigo and Sebastian suffered a “robust decompensation” and have been hospitalized, with Rodrigo admitted to the ICU. Rodrigo died on Aug. 11, whereas Sebastian returned to his homeland on Aug. 17.

Talking to Coconuts Bali immediately, Bali Police spokesman Stefanus Satake Bayu Setianto declared that there have been no acts of discrimination in any respect in legislation enforcement’s dealing with of the case.

Whereas the preliminary police assertion relating to Rodrigo’s demise that Coconuts Bali beforehand obtained from Stefanus himself mentioned an airport customs officer described Rodrigo as “ a feminine traveler,” the spokesman insisted that there was no profiling in the direction of the deceased.

“It had nothing to do with [him] being a transgender. From the screenings on the customs workplace with the X-ray machine, suspicious gadgets have been discovered and later from lab screenings they have been confirmed to be [narcotics],” he mentioned. 

Among the gadgets included brownies that allegedly contained hashish, in addition to marijuana powder and different gadgets containing THC. Of their assertion, Rodrigo’s household mentioned that he owned “remedy linked to his psychological well being therapy, for which he had a prescription from healthcare professionals.”

Indonesia’s anti-drug legal guidelines nonetheless categorize medical marijuana as unlawful. The federal government has solely just lately said that it might think about analysis for medical marijuana after regional neighbors Thailand decriminalized the plant even for leisure use.

Stefanus additionally insisted that police didn’t truly arrest Sebastian. Actually, the Bali Police, Stefanus mentioned, had allowed Sebastian to maintain Rodrigo firm with a view to calm the latter down as a consequence of his psychological well being situation.

“They have been like husband and spouse. They have been collectively. [Rodrigo] was accompanied by Sebastian. Every so often they might hug one another. We [from the police] didn’t actually make a fuss about it. We simply acted professionally,” mentioned Stefanus.

Along with denying the accusations of violence, Stefanus additionally denied that the police demanded bribe cash from the couple. He mentioned that Rodrigo was absolutely cooperative with investigators all the time and had  signed all of the authorized paperwork wanted for the investigation.

As for the household’s accusation that “the Indonesian authorities haven’t allowed an unbiased necropsy to be carried out on Rodrigo’s physique,” Stefanus mentioned that the police contacted the Embassy of Peru in Jakarta for additional steps after his demise and had allowed the household and the authorized crew for an post-mortem.

Stefanus mentioned it was a household consultant, Ana Asuncion Ventosilla Villanueva, who signed the doc asking the police to not carry out an post-mortem. As for Rodrigo’s medical report, Stefanus mentioned it was launched to the household on Aug. 25.

Coconuts Bali has been in contact with Rodrigo and Sebastian’s media representatives and has requested for feedback relating to developments within the story on quite a few events previously week. 

In a public assertion launched by the crew immediately in Peru, they reiterated the allegation that “Rodrigo was detained … due to his gender expression.”

Individually, Indonesia’s Ministry of Overseas Affairs spokesman Teuku Faizasyah mentioned that the ministry and the Embassy of Peru in Jakarta are speaking concerning the matter.

“On this context, the [Indonesian] Ministry of Overseas Affairs has forwarded the assertion from the Bali Police to the Embassy of Peru in Jakarta,” he mentioned.

“Primarily based on the police report, when apprehended, the deceased was in possession of unlawful medicine. If there may be any want for additional inquiries, it’s possible you’ll contact the Bali Police.”

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