2015-05-05  The story of Mary Jane ... and HK


In  2010, Filipina Mary Jane Veloso was arrested on arrival at Yogyakarta Airport in Indonesia after 2.6 kilos of heroin was found in a suitcase she was carrying. Despite her claim to know nothing about the drugs, she was sentenced to death.

Minutes before she was due to be executed by firing squad on April 29 this year, she was given a stay of execution after a woman in the Philippines surrendered to police on April 28 and admitted she had tricked Mary Jane.

In February this year the HK Customs and Excise Department said that elderly foreigners were being tricked into carrying drugs from HK to other countries. A number of these people are now in prison in HK, because HK has a policy of "no excuses" when it comes to drug trafficking.

Not just older people are being tricked. HK prisons also have many younger people, mainly women, whose situation is similar to that of Mary Jane. Mary Jane's case shows that a "no excuse" policy is a most unjust anachronism in a modern society like HK.