2 Dec 2005

Hundreds light a candle for Nguyen

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The Singapore Government has allowed convicted drug smuggler Van Nguyen to hold hands with his mother before his execution tomorrow morning but there will be no final embrace.

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[Protests: Ealier displays of support for Nguyen have included vigils and installations. (ABC TV) ]

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The mood in Canberra has been Sombre leading up to the execution of Van Nguyen, with the Attorney-General condemning the execution as barbaric.

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Singapore has made an exception to its rigid rules to allow convicted heroin smuggler Van Nguyen to hold hands with his mother in their final hours together before his hanging.

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The hanging of Melbourne man Van Nguyen could draw greater attention to another twelve Australians who may face judicial execution in Bali, Vietnam and Kuwait over drugs and terrorism charges.

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From ABC
Hundreds of people are attending vigils around Australia for condemned drug courier Van Nguyen.

Nguyen is to be hanged in Singapore tomorrow morning.

In Victoria, around 300 people lit candles at Federation Square before walking in silence to the Queen Victoria Gardens.

Speeches and prayers were then followed by the lighting of more candles to float in the garden's pond.

Craigieburn Catholic priest Peter Hansen says it has been important for many people to show their sympathy.

"The pain tomorrow will only just be a beginning," Father Hansen said.

Participants say they cannot believe the penalty will be carried out.

"As the moment approaches it just seems more and more horrific," one vigil participant said.

Another said: "I just can't believe it's going to happen in this day and age."

Hundreds of people gathered at Martin Place in Sydney have been addressed by Tim Goodwin from Amnesty International.

Mr Goodwin says the death penalty is unacceptable

"Tonight we stand together in solidarity with Kim Nguyen, [Van's] brother and his friends and with the families of the other victims of this horrendous penalty around the world," he said.

In Queensland, protesters have gathered in Brisbane's CBD.

The candlelight vigil in the Queen Street Mall has attracted more than 100 people.

They have heard speakers condemn the Singapore Government for allowing the execution to go ahead.

David Copeland from Amnesty International says there has been strong public support for its campaign to save the Australian's life.

Mr Copeland says there is still hope.

"We're making a last appeal to the Singaporean Government to grant to Van Nguyen, this young Australian who faces execution tomorrow morning - it is not too late, while there is life there is hope," he said.

1 comment:

Think Singaporean said...

I truly hope that the sg govt could change their mind. If they do, for sure, they will get good support and respect from its fellow "compassionate" citizens, including me.

MY APPEAL TO SG GOVT:

KILLING IS BAD. LIFE IS PRECIOUS. TO ERR IS HUMAN. GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO LIVE AND TO REPENT FOR WHAT HE'D DONE WRONG AFTER ALL HE'S "COMPLETELY REHABILITATED AND EXECUTION IS A TERRIBLE WASTE" says Nyugen's lawyer, Mr McMahon.