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Vigil for Neil Bantleman

On Wednesday January 14, 2015 supporters of Neil Bantleman gathered at the Webber Academy to hold a vigil, continuing the call for justice to release the imprisoned teacher. Friends, students, parents of students, former colleagues, family and loved ones gathered alongside the media to sing, hold the light of hope and shared stories to paint the heart of this beloved man. One of his former students, Lauren Webber, who started the online campaign to call for his release, spoke of her affection and appreciation for him as an educator and friend. She indicated that January 14 marked the 185th day he has been incarcerated – a full school year. The trial is currently unfolding in Jakarta and his community of supporters from across the globe are calling for justice and the immediate release of Neil and his colleague Ferdi, also being held without charge.

I’ve have never met Neil personally, but I have been following his story in the news and have been moved by the outpouring of support shown toward him. I was asked to photograph the event so Neil could see and feel the love and community that surround him; and the countless number of people who are championing for justice, who are advocating diligently for his freedom and who are lovingly waiting for him to come home. I hope that these photos make him feel the extraordinary love, hope and support that envelopes him, even from far away. Courage.


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1 Comment

  1. Nancy January 16, 2015 Reply

    Thank you for these wonderful photos and summary of the event. I know Neil will feel the love and support that you so beautifully captured.

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