British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death by firing squad in January 2013 after being caught with 3.8kg of cocaine as she arrived in Bali from Bangkok. Sandiford has always maintained that she was forced into trafficking the drugs due to threats made against her son.
As the heartbroken granny awaits her fate — the case against the suspected ringleader of the smuggling plot, Paul Beales, mysteriously collapsed and he was released in October.
Originally given an execution date of September 2015, 59-year-old Sandiford won a temporary reprieve in October after Indonesia announced that it was putting the death penalty on hold. During January and April 2015, the Indonesian Attorney General’s Office conducted two rounds of executions, sparking international condemnation from human rights campaigners.
The country’s moratorium on executions was announced in October by the coordinating minister for political, legal and security affairs who said the decision was intended to enable the country to concentrate on fixing its ailing economy.
Awaiting her fate, Sandiford is keeping herself busy by attempting to raise the thousands of pounds she desperately needs to pay the legal fees for her appeal. To generate the much-needed funds, she has created a knitwear project inside and taken to selling the products abroad.
By teaching 20 other female inmates to knit, the fruits of the group’s labour include shawls, sweaters, and teddy bears which are sent to church groups in Australia to raise the money. Despite the venture generating a whopping £7,000 so far, the inmate still needs another £15,000 to pay lawyer’s fees — or she could face death this year. She is accepting donations on her website and is encouraging people to sign a petition asking for legal help from the British government.
With confusion remaining as to how long Indonesia will suspend executions, Sandiford told the Daily Mail on Sunday: “Knitting stops me from going insane. I can blank everything out. It calms me down and I’m doing something useful. For the other women, they earn money to pay for food and learn a skill they can take out of prison.”