When he first entered law school at the University of Indonesia, Yohan Misero assumed he would graduate and be a lawyer who, as so often is the case here, negotiates payouts to police and judges on behalf of his clients.. I But then, he took on an internship that “changed his life”, he said. In 2013, as he was entering his fourth year of law school he assisted in a case that sought to help a 50-something British woman avoid the death penalty. She had been nabbed for trafficking about 2kg of methamphetamine in her underpants and bra through the airport in Surabaya.
As Yohan dove into the details of the woman’s case he was struck by her candor: her poverty, the details of her sexuality (she was gay), her vulnerability in a country where she doesn’t speak the language.
“I thought: ‘This is a person. She needed help. She’s trapped,’” said Yohan, who is now practicing for the human rights and legal aid outfit, called LBH Masyarakat.