Vigils to draw attention to man still in Indonesian jail
BURLINGTON — The family of a former Burlington resident who is imprisoned in Indonesia is planning a pair of vigils on his behalf in two Canadian cities.
The events are planned to mark the two-year anniversary of Neil Bantleman’s incarceration. The now 47-year-old was initially detained on July 14, 2014, and for the past two years has been in and out of jail in Jakarta.
Bantleman and his family maintain that he is the victim of unfounded accusations, an improper trial and been denied human rights.
Bantleman and teaching assistant Ferdinant Tjiong were found guilty in April 2015 of sexual assault on three boys at the Jakarta International School.
Both had pled not guilty and continue to declare their innocence. Their convictions were eventually overturned with both men released on Aug. 14, 2015.
An appeal was launched and the acquittals were overturned by the Indonesian Supreme Court in February of this year, with and extra year added to both men’s 10year prison sentences.
Guy Bantleman of Burlington, Neil’s younger brother and the family spokesperson, said a protest will occur at the Indonesian Consulate in Toronto on Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“This peaceful protest is to draw attention to this ongoing saga and highlight the injustice and denial of human rights,” Guy said in an email.
In Calgary, Guy will attend a similar vigil the same day.
The Bantlemans’ parents, Corinne, 83, and Hugh, 84, live in Burlington, where Neil grew up.