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Chan, Sukumaran sang songs of praise

Neighbour Eva Mouawad delivers flowers to the family home of Andrew Chan in Sydney on Wednesday. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Neighbour Eva Mouawad delivers flowers to the family home of Andrew Chan in Sydney on Wednesday. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Melbourne [AAP]

Executed Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran sang songs of praise as they faced the firing squad.

The Melbourne-based husband of Pastor Christie Buckingham, who’s in Indonesia, says she sent him a text message following the executions saying the men conducted themselves with ‘dignity and strength until the end’.

‘She told me the eight of them walked out onto the killing field singing songs of praise,’ Rob Buckingham told 3AW radio.

There were concerns Ms Buckingham wouldn’t be allowed to see the men before their deaths, but a last-minute reprieve allowed her to read them their last rites, Mr Buckingham said.

Father Charlie Burrows, who was a witness for executed Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, said the Australians led the hymns.

‘Even before we got to them to have our few minutes with them they were singing hymns together and the Australians were leading a lot in that,’ he told the Ten Network.

‘And trying to be strong together and to help one another accept what was happening in a dignified manner.

‘Amazing Grace seems to just spontaneously come up as a meaningful hymn at the moment of execution.’

Father Burrows said before the men were shot they were tied to a white cross.

Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran didn’t cry and refused blindfolds, he said.

The Australians were the first of the six prisoners executed on Wednesday to be handcuffed and removed from their cells, after spending about an hour and a half with Salvation Army ministers.

‘There was no crying because I would say the dominant things in their mind was to lessen the suffering of the people being left behind,’ he told the Seven network on Thursday.

Father Burrows said he tried to prepare Gularte for what was going to happen to him but it wasn’t until his final moments that the mentally ill prisoner understood he would be executed.

‘It was only when they started putting on the chains he said to me Father, am I being executed?’‘

‘That was not a very nice moment.

‘Then on the cross he was just “what is the point of this… I made one mistake, why is this happening to me?’‘’.

 


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