Thursday, 3 August 2006

'Use Philippines to help end death penalty'

The lawyer who defended the last Australian hanged in Asia said the Philippines should be held up as an example for other countries in the region to follow.

Lex Lasry QC said in late June that Australia should publicly congratulate the Philippines for abolishing the death penalty, and encourage other countries in Asia to do the same.

"Such a step demonstrates the potential in South-East Asia for countries in that region who have maintained capital punishment to be persuaded to change their policy," he said.

"Australia, a country internationally committed to the abolition of capital punishment, should immediately publicly congratulate the Philippines on its decision and use it as an example to persuade other countries in our region to do likewise."

Mr Lasry represented Van Tuong Nguyen, who was hanged for heroin trafficking in Singapore on 2 December 2005.

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