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Condemned grandmother: Australian prisoners "touched the lives of a great many people"

Touched: Sandiford talks with her sister from a cell in Bali
Touched: Sandiford talks with her sister from a cell in Bali

A British grandmother on death row in Indonesia said she is "deeply saddened" by the "senseless, brutal deaths" of two Australians who were among eight convicted drug smugglers reportedly executed in the country.

Lindsay Sandiford, who is facing death by firing squad for drugs offences, said Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan "touched the lives of a great many people" after helping to rehabilitate fellow prisoners.

The men's executions by firing squad reportedly took place in Besi prison on the island of Nusakambangan despite calls from the Australian government to delay the killings.

In a statement issued through her lawyer from Kerobokan Prison in Bali, Ms Sandiford, 58, said: "I am deeply saddened to learn that Myuran Sukumaran and my dear friend Andrew Chan have been executed today.

"Many things have been said about whether Andrew and Myuran deserved to die for their crimes.

"I didn't know those men at the time they committed those crimes 10 years ago. What I can say is that the Andrew and Myuran I knew were men who did good and touched the lives of a great many people, including myself."

Ms Sandiford, from Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, said Chan was a "close friend and confidante" when they were in Kerobokan prison together.

"He counselled and helped me through exceptionally difficult times after I was sentenced to death in 2013," she added.

"Myu and Andrew used their time in Kerobokan to make life better for everyone around them. They introduced the concept of rehabilitation to a prison that never had it before.

"They organised painting classes, cookery classes and computer classes, and gave practical help to make sure the poorest prisoners had food, clothing and essentials.

"Whoever they were and wherever they were from, they made sure inmates who were sick got access to health care and hospital services which are not covered by the prison budget.

"The men shot dead today were reformed men - good men who transformed the lives of people around them. Their senseless, brutal deaths leave the world a poorer place."