|A British woman facing death by firing squad for smuggling drugs into Bali has called out the U.K. for its lack of help and says it’s "tantamount to condoning the death penalty," according to the BBC.
Fifty-six-year-old Lindsay Sandiford has “insisted she is innocent,” the BBC reports. She claims drug dealers threatened to harm her children if she didn’t smuggle millions of dollars' worth of cocaine into Bali. But Balinese courts were unswayed by the British grandmother’s plea. They convicted her in January, when she was originally looking at 15 years in prison, but the judge ignored the prosecution’s recommendation and instead sentenced her to death by firing squad.
Sandiford plans to appeal her sentence, and she reached out to the British government for help with her legal fees. It refused to fund the appeal.
"There are, and will continue to be, British nationals facing execution without lawyers, and because they cannot raise their voices, the government is standing by, refusing to assist with funding of lawyers for them. This action is tantamount to condoning the death penalty," Sandiford told the BBC.
Capital punishment was outlawed in England in 1965 and in Northern Ireland in 1973.
With the help of about $15,500 in private donations and a British human rights group called Reprieve, Sandiford said, she has until early May to launch her appeal in the Balinese Supreme Court. Zoe Bedford, a Reprieve lawyer, told the BBC that Sandiford “fully accepts responsibility, she accepts it was wrong. She deeply, deeply regrets what she's done, but what she's asking for is a punishment that’s proportionate.”
If Sandiford loses her Supreme Court appeal, her next step is a judicial appeal. But if that fails, only the president of Indonesia has the power to save her from the firing squad.