A British woman facing the firing squad in Indonesia told British reporters from her Bali prison “if you want to shoot me get on with it”. She faces execution for drug smuggling.
The 62 year old drug mule grandmother has abandoned any further legal battles to avoid a date with the firing squad. Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death for attempting to smuggle 4.7 kilograms of cocaine into the country back in 2012.
She and her legal team initially fought the sentence but now says she has come to terms with her fate, insisting: “Dying doesn’t bother me.”
Death row prisoners are routinely flown to Nusa Kambangan, off the south coast of Java Island, a week before their execution where preparations are made. Prisoners are usually executed in a batch along with other sentenced prisoners.
“It won’t be a hard thing for me to face anymore. It’s not particularly a death I would choose but then again I wouldn’t choose dying in agony from cancer either. Dying doesn’t bother me. I never thought I’d last this long to be honest,” she told reporters from MailOnline.
Sandiford was apprehended at Denpasar Airport in May 2012 when officials discovered a massive haul of cocaine hidden in the lining of her suitcase. She was convicted later the same year and has spent the last six years on death row.
Speaking from inside the grim Kerobokan prison in Bali, she insisted she was unfazed by the prospect of her death.
“What I am uncomfortable about is the public humiliation. You’re dragged halfway around the country and paraded in front of the press before being executed and that will be the worst thing for me.
“I’ve done a terrible thing, I know, but the worst thing is the ritual public humiliation they seem to enjoy.”
Sandiford has no previous convictions but was handed a death sentence after claiming a UK-based drug syndicate forced her to smuggle cocaine from Thailand to Bali. She told a Bali court the crime gang threatened to kill one of her two sons in Britain if she refused to cooperate.
However, she has since accepted she will die in prison but has banned her sons from being present during her execution after seeing the devastation caused to the family of Andrew Chan, the ‘Bali Nine’ ringleader who was killed by firing squad in 2015.
“I’ve told my family I don’t want any of them to come when it happens.”
“They know it would be the last thing I wanted. They know that. I’m their mum and they love me and for me that’s enough. And they know I love them and hopefully that will be enough for them.”
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Indonesia’s President Jokowi says he is “embarrassed” by fires
PHOTO: Singapore, days before the 2019 Grand Prix – DL
Dozens of people have now been arrested over their alleged involvement in Indonesia’s massive forest fires. Thousands of hectares of rain forest and plantations have been burned, with the smoke and haze drifting in neighbouring Malaysia, Singapore and southern Thailand.
Dedi Prasetyo, Indonesia’s National Police spokesman has confirmed 185 people now been arrested across six provinces hit by the intentionally-lit fires and four corporations were under investigation.
“99% of the forest and land fires occurred due to human factors.”
Minimum age for marriage raised to curb child brides – Indonesia
“14% of girls in Indonesia are married before the age of 18, and 1% are married before their 15th birthday.” – UNICEF
Indonesia’s parliament will raise the minimum age for marriage to 19 in a ruling aimed to curb child marriage in the south east Asian nation.
Indonesia’s House of Representatives passed the revision to the country’s existing marriage laws unanimously, according to Reuters. Changes to the existing laws will take place within three years.
Under current laws girls are allowed to marry at 16 and boys to marry at 19. Parents can also apply to religious courts or local officials to authorise marriages of younger girls – there is no minimum age in such cases. NGOs and foreign governments have urged Indonesia to tackle the issue of child brides in the large mostly-Muslim nation, calling out the practice as child abuse and even pedophilia.
NGO ‘Girls Not Brides’, a global initiative to end child marriage, says that Indonesia has the eighth highest number of child brides in the world.
Smoke from Indonesian illegal plantation burn-offs causing acute problems for south east Asian neighbours
PHOTO: Visibility down to less than a kilometre at KL airport yesterday
Flights cancelled, schools closed and regional environmental ministers trading insults. The minister’s fiddle whilst Indonesian islands burn.
Parts of Indonesia are now opening temporary clinics to treat thousands of people suffering from acute respiratory illnesses in the smoke haze stricken regions around Sumatra island as authorities stepped up efforts to douse forest and peatland fires.
Dangerous smoke from illegal burning to clear land for palm oil and paper plantations is prompting school closures and disrupting travel in the region. But the air quality in Singapore, which slipped to unhealthy levels over the weekend, is now forecast to improve in the next few days.
The fires, an annual burn-off of plantations to prepare for the new year crops, is causing major disruptions and a health hazard for other south east asian countries in the wake of the smoke, including Malaysia, Singapore and southern Thailand.
More than 300 schools in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor were closed on the weekend after the Air Pollutant Index hit very unhealthy levels. (Johor’s weekend is Friday and Saturday with Sunday being a normal work day.)
Authorities have distributed perfunctory face masks to people in Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra and Kalimantan as the ash and smoke from more than 2,500 hotspots blanket the region. Authorities now say they have deployed more than 9,000 personnel, with the help of 42 helicopters, to fight the fires.
The total number of hotspots in Indonesia fell to 2,583 on Monday from 2,862 on Sunday, with the Indonesian part of the Borneo island alone accounting for almost 1,200 forest fires. The hotspots have affected 328,724 hectares of forest and farm land this year, data from the National Disaster Mitigation Agency show. The agency stands ready to undertake cloud-seeding to douse the fire, it said.
Kuching and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Hanoi and Jakarta were among the world’s top 10 cities with the poorest air quality, according to IQAir AirVisual pollution data yesterday. The air quality index in Kuching in haze-hit Sarawak state was 241 yesterday, a level well in excess of the WHO upper level of 50.
In KL yesterday the levels reached 130.
Meanwhile PT Garuda Indonesia airlines, the national carrier, was forced to cancell 12 flights on Sunday and several of its jets were either diverted or delayed as the haze lowered the visibility.
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