Bali warden denies prison abuse claims
THE warden of a notorious Indonesian prison yesterday strongly denied claims by a British former inmate that she had been abused and that the jail was rife with drug use.
Ms Rachel Dougall, 40, told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper this week that she was beaten, bullied and had to fend off sexual advances from a female inmate and male guards.
Her allegations came after she finished a 12-month sentence related to drugs and was deported to Britain in May.
"Her allegations don't match the facts on the ground," prison warden I Gusti Ngurah Wiratna of resort island Bali's Kerobokan jail said.
"We questioned 16 foreign inmates in her block and they said her statements were nonsense."
Ms Dougall claimed inmates beat her up several times.
She told the Daily Mail: "I would cover my face and take the beatings as they punched and kicked me."
She added that inmates tried to force her to take drugs and described repeated sexual advances from a lesbian inmate who "ran" the women's block.
"Because I rebuffed her, she would force me to dress up in leather or other fancy clothes and dance like a stripper while the other women laughed and pushed me around. I was humiliated," Ms Dougall said.
She said most of the women were on drugs "virtually every day".
"If you had money, the guards would get you anything you wanted. Inmates in the men's prison next door even paid prostitutes for overnight visits."
Mr Wiratna said consulate representatives made visits to see British inmates around three times a month and Ms Dougall had not raised any concerns.
He said: "If she had been mistreated, why didn't she complain to them? They would have relayed her complaints to us."
Ms Dougall was arrested in a police sting last year. She was one of four Britons and an Indian national suspected of being involved in a drug ring, but was convicted only of failing to report her boyfriend, Julian Ponder, for drug possession. He was sentenced to six years' jail.