2 December 2005
Amnesty condemns cruel and senseless killing of Van Tuong Nguyen
Amnesty International condemns the execution of Van Tuong Nguyen in Singapore this morning.
"Today is an extremely sad day for his family, who are now victims of this horrendous punishment," said Tim Goodwin, Amnesty International's Anti-Death Penalty Coordinator.
"It is a particularly cruel twist that this execution will not protect Singapore against the drug trade. In capital cities and regional centres across the nation, thousands of people this morning paused to acknowledge the tragic killing of this young Australian."
"They were united in their grief for Van Nguyen's family and their determination to fight harder than ever to abolish the death penalty wherever it is used and whatever the nationality of those facing execution."
Amnesty International Australia extends its deepest sympathy to the Nguyen family and pledged to continue its fight for a world without executions. Amnesty International also paid tribute to the Australian legal team, Lex Lasry QC and Julian McMahon who fought so hard to save the life of Van.
"Sadly all efforts across all sectors of the Australian community were defeated by the cruelty of Singapore's mandatory death penalty laws. Amnesty International thanks the people of Australia who stood with us in solidarity – through writing the tens of thousands of appeal letters, tracing their hands and writing messages of support and attending events and vigils across the nation."
"These efforts, which were joined by hundreds of thousands of people around the world have served to strengthen the global campaign to end the death penalty in all its forms and has given courage to those in Singapore who are taking great risks to speak out against their country's inhuman and ineffective punishment.
Amnesty International Australia today reaffirmed its call on the Australian Government to take a clear, consistent and principled stand against the death penalty and to exercise leadership on the regional and international stage.
"Australia's wavering stance on the death penalty in recent times has undermined Australia's credibility and ability to argue for clemency for Van Tuong Nguyen, " said Tim Goodwin.
Amnesty International encourages all Australians who wish to voice their opposition to Van's execution to write letters of appeal to the Singapore High Commissioner and to join the human rights organisation's Anti-Death Penalty Network.
For more information: www.amnesty.org.au To arrange interviews with Tim Goodwin, Amnesty International’s Anti-Death Penalty Network Coordinator please contact Karen Trentini on 0422 869 439.