Lawyer: Jailed U.S. Nurse Freed Soon
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) _ An American nurse will be released from an Indonesian jail later in this week after serving a four-month sentence for violating her visa by contacting separatist rebels, her lawyer said Monday.
Joy Lee Sadler, of Waterloo, Iowa, was found guilty last week of violating her tourist visa by contacting guerrillas in troubled Aceh province and was sentenced to four months in prison. Her companion, Scottish-born academic Lesley Jane McCulloch of Australia’s Tasmania University, was convicted of the same charges and sentenced to five months.
Sadler’s lawyer, Rufriadi Ramli, said his client would be released Friday and looks forward to returning to the United States. He did not comment on McCulloch.
The women were arrested Sept. 11 and had already served most of their time when the court found them guilty.
Both Sadler and McCulloch launched hunger strikes to protest their arrest on Sept. 11. Sadler, who is HIV-positive, said her 39-day strike has made her seriously ill and on Friday demanded to be hospitalized. But she claimed no hospital in Aceh would admit her because of her HIV condition.
Sadler, 57, has said she has not taken her anti-HIV medicine regularly because her family has been unable to get it to her.
Both women maintain their innocence.
Sadler said she was in Aceh on holiday and that said she had treated children and the elderly at a refugee camp there. McCulloch, a former lecturer at the University of Tasmania in Australia, has researched the separatist uprising in Aceh for several years, but said she was not conducting any research when she was detained.
The government and rebels from the Free Aceh Movement signed a peace deal on Dec. 9 aimed at ending the 26-year-old war in the resource-rich region 1,100 miles northwest of the capital, Jakarta.