Two female travellers find tough justice abroad. The first all new story to appear since the recent changes
by Pat Greenham
Monica and Jane were both made redundant as a result of the credit crunch, and came to the conclusion that getting another job was going to be difficult for at least a year. As such they decided to do something they had always promised themselves, and take a year off for a world tour. Both girls were 25, and had gone straight into their careers from university and had never had the indulgence of a gap year that so many of their friends had enjoyed.
They were half way through their year away when they made their biggest mistake ever. They had spent the first six months in Europe and North Africa and had just flown into one of the three Asian countries they were to visit when one of the drug detection dogs showed a great deal of interest to their hand baggage as they waited for their main luggage. This had not been lost on the customs officers who stopped and searched the two girls as they attempted to go through the green channel.
The girls had been having such a good time on their trip, but they had completely forgotten about the small amount of marijuana that had been at the bottom of their rucksacks since they left Morocco three weeks previously. Monica and Jane were immediately taken to a security room where the customs official made a telephone call to a more senior officer and the airport police.
There was no doubt that the two girls were now in quite a state, and could not believe what had happened. If they had thought about it, they would never have tried to import drugs – they both knew the seriousness of such an offence in most Asian countries, but they had simply forgotten the substances they had in their rucksacks.
After about ten minutes, the more senior customs official arrived together with an airport policeman. The policeman asked if they knew how much trouble they were in and that they would have to be charged and prosecuted with the attempted import of marijuana into a country with very strict drugs laws.
He told them that they were both under arrest and would soon be transferred to the Airport Police Station, but that first they would both be subject to a mandatory medical examination to check there no other drugs secreted anywhere else on or in their bodies. He said the doctor had been contacted and would be with them shortly.
Naturally Monica and Jane were becoming increasingly panicky about what was going to happen and what being charged with drug possession might lead to. Monica decided to ask the policeman what might happen to be told that it would almost certain they would face a prison sentence.
After about another fifteen minutes the customs officer returned to say that the doctor had arrived and was in the medical suite. Both girls were taken to the suite, which was a few minutes walk away. They were told to stay in the waiting room until called, and as they had an idea of what might lie ahead they hoped the doctor would be female. Jane was the first to be taken into the examination room where she discovered to her horror that the doctor was a good-looking Australian male who was only about thirty. She was told to take off all her clothes and there was no offer of a gown or anything to give any level of modesty. She was soon down to her underwear and after taking off her bra there was nothing for it but to remove her knickers leaving her completely naked. She found it even more embarrassing because the doctor was young and very good-looking – it would have been so much better if he had been older. The doctor conducted a very humiliating examination which finished with her being instructed to shuffle her bottom to the end of the examination couch and put her legs into the stirrups leaving them high and wide apart. The doctor then conducted an internal examination of both her vagina and rectum. The humiliation almost made her forget about the much more serious matter of being charged with drug possession. Minutes later Monica went through the same humiliating examination.
No further drugs had been found, and the girls were soon in a locked van on their way to the Police Station. On arrival, they were taken to an interview room, still with the Policeman from the airport.
By this time it was very late, and they had to wait for about thirty minutes before a police sergeant arrived. He told them that he would take their names and other details and that he would need their passports. He also said that they would be properly interviewed in the morning after spending a night in the station cells.
Quite clearly, Monica and Jane were going to have a very long night and neither got a wink of sleep.
At 8.00am they were both taken back to the interview room where the same police sergeant was waiting. He told them he would start by taking their statements and asked them if they were going to admit their crime. He added that having been caught red-handed, it would save a lot of time if they admitted the possession of drugs. They could then be formerly charged and a time could be booked for a Court Appearance. Monica decided to ask if they could see a lawyer before making their statements, to which the Sergeant replied that seeing a lawyer was their ‘right’, but that it would not change the very basic fact that they had both been caught in possession of marijuana. He told them he would contact one of Court Solicitors and ask for someone to come to the Police Station.
At about Midday, Monica and Jane met the Solicitor from the Court who outlined the seriousness of their offence. He was sympathetic, but also candid about the likely outcome of a Court Appearance. He told them the only thing in their favour was the amount of marijuana was small and he could easily argue that it was clearly only for their personal use. However he said that drug possession was very serious and they would almost certainly spend some time in prison. He also said that it was likely that the Judge would order them to be flogged during their stay in prison. Obviously both Jane and Monica were absolutely horrified at this prospect and asked the lawyer what he thought was their likely sentence. He told them that they would probably get between six and twelve months in prison, and it was likely they would suffer a number of strokes with the junior Rotan. He said that it would be normal to be sentenced to between four and eight strokes for such an offence and that this part of their punishment would take place in the prison courtyard in front of the other prisoners – humiliation being very much part of the punishment. The girls asked what a junior Rotan was, to be told that it was not the same as the Rotan used on male prisoners, being both shorted and thinner, but that it was still a very unpleasant instrument. He also told them that they whilst may be shocked, they should prepare themselves for the punishment to be delivered to their bare buttocks.
Quite clearly, this was a million miles away from how Jane and Monica had expected to spend the next part of their year away. Before the lawyer left, he told the girls that he would be present at all stages of the process and added that he would talk to the Sergeant to see if there was anything that could be done to speed up the process. He also said that they should ask the Sergeant at their next interview if there were any alternatives if they agreed to admit their crime and be cooperative.
Monica and Jane were taken back to the cells. It seemed that the most they could hope for was the minimum of six months and probably six strokes of the junior Rotan, which sounded absolutely horrendous.
The Station Sergeant together with the Court Solicitor saw them again that afternoon. The Sergeant asked them if they admitted their crime, to which the Solicitor nodded to the girls to indicate they should. Reluctantly both Monica and Jane said they were guilty, and added that they were very sorry and that they had never intended to break any laws – indeed they had been given the drugs in Morocco and had completely forgotten about their existence in both rucksacks.
There were some forms to fill in including a written statement from each girl. Once they were completed, the Sergeant asked if they knew the likely sentence that the Court would hand down. Monica replied on behalf of both girls to say that they understood that prison was almost a certainty as was some kind of flogging.
She also asked if there was any alternative. It soon became clear that the Solicitor had spent some considerable time with the Sergeant to try and find an alternative. At this point, the Solicitor spoke directly to the Sergeant saying that he had considerable sympathy for the girls, adding that he believed their story about completely forgetting about the drugs and that the amount was so small that they could never be accused of ‘supplying’ which was a significantly most serious offence. The Solicitor went on to say that he was aware that the Police had certain powers that in some cases would see petty offenders punished in a more ‘unofficial’ way and that they could under special circumstances hold prisoners for up to fourteen days at the Police Station.
It was clear that the Solicitor had set up the Sergeant when he asked the girls if they would be prepared to consider a punishment that was in some ways more serious, but would avoid a prison sentence. Obviously both girls saw a ‘lifeline’ and told the sergeant they would of course consider the alternative.
The Sergeant looked thoughtful, and asked the girls if they were aware that the Court would almost certainly impose a flogging of around six strokes of the junior Rotan. They both nodded and said that: “Yes, we know.”
He went on to say that, in very special circumstances, he had used his considerable powers to create an alternative punishment. At National Government level, such alternatives were frowned upon, but on a more local level it was more accepted. Indeed there was pressure not to make the overcrowded prison situation worse.
The Sergeant added that he would consider the situation overnight and would give his decision in the morning. Monica asked him if he could give any idea of what the alternative involved, to which he replied that he could not say anything until he had concluded that an alternative was appropriate.
Monica and Jane were left with alone with the Solicitor as the Sergeant left the room. At this stage there was a knock on the door and another man entered the room. He introduced himself as a representative from The British Embassy, saying that he had heard that two British Nationals had been arrested and that he would take up the girl’s case. First, however, he asked for a brief from the Court Solicitor.
He was told about the offence, which was very difficult to defend, but that the Police were considering an alternative. The man from the Embassy asked the girls if they had any idea what the Police was considering. Monica and Jane said they had no idea to which the girls were then told by the two men that they might be offered a ‘judiciary’ caning which would probably take place at the Police station and would avoid a prison sentence, instead having an extended period of detention in the Police Cells. The Embassy Man told them that such an alternative was very frowned upon in religious circles, but that he knew of two precedents that had taken place a few months previously. One incident involved two Australian girls on a gap year had got themselves into similar difficulties, and had submitted to a so called ‘show judiciary caning’, so there were grounds for hope. Both girls wanted to know more, to which the Solicitor said that he knew that such punishments actually involved considerably more strokes but with a less severe cane which is administered in front of a small audience, hence the title ‘show’ caning.
For the second night, both Monica and Jane suffered a very long night before they were once again taken back to interview room at 9 am on the dot. The Sergeant was waiting, as was the solicitor. The sergeant told them that he given a great deal of thought to the situation, and had taken into account the strong case for leniency that the solicitor had put forward. He went on to say that in exceptional circumstances, he would hold the charges on file and not send them to the Court. However, as part of the alternative, each of them would have to accept a ‘judiciary’ show caning which would take place in the training room at the police station later in the day at 6pm. The sergeant went on to say that if they had gone before the Court, they would almost certainly have been sentenced to six strokes of the junior Rotan, which was a prison cane. Whilst it was not the same as the cane used on male prisoners, the junior Rotan was still a serious implement. The alternative was twenty-four strokes of a rattan cane, similar to the ones still being used in schools. They would both have sign Non Disclosure Forms as part of the condition of accepting the alternative was that they could never make the nature of the punishment public knowledge. For this reason, following their punishment, they would be held at the Police station for as long as it took for the marks of their caning to disappear. They would then be deported, and the matter would be closed.
The sergeant added that they were lucky girls and assumed that they would opt for the alternative. Both Monica and Jane were horrified, but knew they had no choice if they were to avoid a prison sentence. They confirmed their acceptance.
The solicitor accompanied the girls back to their cell where they were going to wait until called. He told them that he knew their punishment was going to be very unpleasant, but that they had been fortunate not to be appearing before the Court. He also said that he would ensure he was present before, during and after their canings.
The day dragged slowly until at about 5.45 pm the Solicitor returned bringing with him two punishment gowns. He told the horrified girls that they both had to take all their clothes off and put the gowns on in preparation for their punishment. For the first time, Jane and Monica realised that they were going to be caned on the bare, and it seemed as if it could not get any worse, especially as the solicitor was going to remain as they undressed. He told them that in 30 minutes it would all be over and again impressed on them that they were avoiding a prison term.
They were both wearing cotton two-piece police prison uniforms over their underwear, which they removed before asking if they had to remove their underwear as well – to be told that they had to be naked apart from the gowns that he gave to each girl. There was nothing for it, as they both stripped off their bras and knickers and were very conscious of their nudity in front of the solicitor. They both put on the gowns, which only just covered their modesty.
A few minutes later Monica and Jane were taken to a small room that they were to discover was adjacent to the Training Room. They were told to wait for the doctor who would see them shortly. Moments later the same good-looking Australian doctor came into the room and told them that as part of the procedure, he had to pass them fit and able to take the punishment – which he added was just part of the routine. He told them to remove their gowns and one by one to bend across the table so that he could be happy they their bottoms had enough ‘flesh’ to absorb the cane without causing any permanent damage. Now completely naked in front of the same doctor for the second time, he passed them both fit to be caned. He told them that twenty-four strokes was quite a lot and suggested that they concentrated on their breathing whilst being caned. He added that after the first six it should become easier and that they should focus on getting to half way after which they could count down the strokes remaining. At this point an officer came into the room and said that everyone was ready and asked the girls to follow him. Both girls went to replace their gowns to be told: “You will not be needing those, as you will now remain naked until your canings have been completed.” Monica and Jane then followed the Officer into the Training room, which was just like a classroom at school with a stage and several rows of chairs. To their horror there were about eight policemen in the room, all seated. The man from the Embassy was also present. On the stage was an A framed trestle, the purpose of which was quite obvious.
The Sergeant, who was seated at a desk to one side, asked the girls to stand in front of him as he introduced them to another officer, who he explained had come from the local prison and was trained in the application of the cane. The Sergeant also explained that he always took the opportunity to invite other officers to witness judiciary canings, as he felt it helped for them to understand for themselves how such offences could be handled and provided the essential element of humiliation that would have been very much part of their punishment, had it taken place in prison.
The sergeant then told the girls that they had to sign a form that admitted their crime and that they understood the charges would be kept on file – effectively suspending their appearance to the Court. Monica was then told that as she was the youngest, she would receive her caning first and that she should go onto the stage and bend across the trestle. As she turned with her back to the audience, all she could think about was all the men focussing on her bottom – the eight officers, the Sergeant, the man from the Embassy, the Solicitor, the doctor and the officer that was going to actually cane her – 13 men in total. Meanwhile Jane was told to stand to one side with her hands by her sides, and her breasts, bottom and light coloured bush on view to all.
Once Monica was across the trestle, the Officer that was going to cane her fastened her wrists to each of the forward legs before moving behind her to fasten each ankle to the back legs – which meant that her legs were spread wide apart and gave the audience a grandstand view of Monica’s slim and beautifully round bottom, leaving nothing to the imagination. Monica did not know which was worse – the absolute humiliation of being naked in such a demeaning position in front of so many men or the judiciary caning that was about to start.
The Sergeant told the Prison officer that he would begin the caning when he was ready and that the twenty-four strokes would be given at 10-second intervals. Monica braced herself, but nothing could have prepared her for the first stroke that came from over the officers’ shoulder and landed across the centre of her bottom and was pain like she had never known before as she involuntary cried out. Ten seconds later the second stroke came and she managed to stay quiet. And so Monica’s caning continued with the sixth stroke coming after 50 seconds. The audience were certainly appreciating the spectacle, and the Prison Officer was clearly very proficient with all the strokes being across the centre of Monica’s bottom. The doctor had been right, in that once Monica has got used to the pain of strokes, it was less of a shock, but still unbelievably painful. As the caning continued, Monica started to fight against the straps that had her firmly fastened to the trestle, but she had absolutely no choice but to accept that her defenceless bottom was offered up to the prison officer and his cane, and any thoughts of embarrassment or humiliation of being caned in front of all the men had gone. After the twelfth stroke, the officer gave her a slightly longer gap before delivering the thirteenth stroke and Monica remembered the doctor’s advice to start counting down.
Meanwhile Jane was watching in horror, knowing that her time was coming soon. In all, Monica’s caning took about five minutes to deliver and left her bottom with a mass of red lines, all within a band of about three inches – such was the accuracy of the trained prison officer. Monica was then untied and told to change places with Jane, facing the front and told not to touch her bottom. She was in a mixture of emotions, glad that the punishment was finally over but with a bottom that felt as if she had been branded with a red-hot poker.
It was now Jane’s turn and she self-consciously walked slowly toward the stage with all eyes on her naked body. She was taller than Monica with longer legs and a slightly ‘rounder’ bottom, which meant that when she bent over the trestle she was at a slightly different angle, further over with her bottom very much at the top. However the sight was still unbelievable for the red-blooded men in the room and the officer attached Jane’s wrists and ankles to the trestle exactly as he had done with Monica.
Once more the officer was told to start the caning and as he tapped Jane’s bottom you could have heard a pin drop. In no hurry, he made Jane wait for almost 30 seconds before delivering the first stroke right across the middle of Jane’s bottom, which caused her to gasp out loudly. Jane knew she had twenty-three more to come and wondered how on earth she would survive. Every ten or fifteen seconds another vicious stroke was delivered and Jane’s reaction varied from a loud gasp to a grunt. She told herself to try and stay quiet and to remember what the doctor had said. She started to think about her breathing, but it was difficult to concentrate on anything other than the pain as the cane made its repeated devastating impact across the centre of her bottom. After the twelfth stroke the officer paused for about a minute, which allowed Jane to absorb the pain for a short while. As with Monica’s caning, the officer had the first twelve weals all in a band of about two inches across Jane’s delectable bottom.
After the pause, the officer recommenced the caning and Jane kept saying to herself ‘don’t cry. You must not cry’.
The last six strokes were all a bit of a blur and Jane had actually lost count to the extent that when the officer delivered the final stroke she was surprised when the officer started to undo the fastenings that had secured her to the trestle.
Jane was told to join her friend and stand to attention as the sergeant stood up from his chair and walked to where the girls were standing. He told them that they were very lucky to have been treated so leniently and that he suggested they never return to his country once they were deported. He then told Monica to step forward and turn away from the audience and touch her toes, before he spanked her with his large hand six times – three heavy smacks to each cheek. Moments later Jane received the same ‘extra’ spanking.
They were then told to face the audience and thank them for attending and once again apologise for breaking the strict laws. At this point Jane went to cover her pubic region, but was told to stand with the hands by her sides.
Then, it was over. They were taken back to the small room where the doctor was waiting to administer some cream to their damaged bottoms.
It took over fourteen days for the marks to completely disappear, and every day Monica and Jane had to go through the indignity of removing their knickers for the sergeant to inspect their bottoms. In all, the ordeal had lasted just over two and a half weeks from being stopped in customs to being unceremoniously deported.
The man from the embassy had taken care of their flights, and as they took off, both Monica and Jane looked out the window and said goodbye to a country that for the rest of their lives would hold some very unpleasant memories!