Call for action on hanging
From: The Sunday Telegraph
Support ... Friends place hands from their reach out campaign in front of the State Library in Melbourne / David Crosling
AN international campaign to abolish Singapore's mandatory death penalty would gain momentum with the execution of Australian drug smuggler Nguyen Tuong Van, his lawyer, Lex Lasry, QC, said yesterday.
Speaking from Singapore, where he will be visiting Nguyen later today, Mr Lasry, a Melbourne barrister, said there was little hope his sentence would be repealed.
Mr Lasry said, however, the fight to save Nguyen would continue.
He said yesterday's visit was probably the most difficult of his career.
Nguyen's execution has been set for December 2.
His mother, Kim, and twin brother, Khoa, will fly to Singapore to visit him in Changi prison this week.
It will be the first time Nguyen has seen his brother since he was caught with 396 grams of heroin strapped to his body and in his hand luggage at Changi airport in 2002.
He told the court he was trafficking heroin to pay legal fees incurred by Khoa.
An international campaign to abolish Singapore's mandatory death penalty for possession or trafficking of more than 15 grams of heroin had just begun, Mr Lasry said.
"Even if our client is executed, as he probably will be, the campaign against Singapore's mandatory death sentence will continue," he said.
"I've been on this case for three years now, and I'm of the view that it's a fight we have to continue."