Wednesday, 29 November 2006

MP criticises "tragic waste of human life"

An Australian parliamentarian has marked the first anniversary of Van Tuong Nguyen's execution in Singapore by condemning the pointless waste of his death.

Van Nguyen, a 25 year-old salesman from Melbourne, was hanged in Singapore on 2 December, 2005.

Ms Anna Burke, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) Member for Chisholm, told the Australian Parliament on 27 November that Van Nguyen's execution had served no purpose.

"Since his death, we have not stopped the drug trafficking. We have not stopped people stupidly going there and trafficking drugs.

"We have now had more Australians caught up in foreign countries who will also be facing execution," she said.

Six Australians are currently on death row in Bali, Indonesia, after being convicted of drug smuggling offences.

Ms Burke said Van Nguyen's death "was a tragic waste of human life".

"Yes, he should have been punished—he should been punished severely—but not by execution," she said.

Ms Burke said she had met Van Nguyen's mother Kim last week, who was still "a victim" of her son's execution.

"She still cannot come to terms with her situation.

"Day in, day out, she sees herself as the victim of this crime, of this execution. She does not like to leave her home. She does not like to interact with people," Ms Burke said.

She said execution had "served no purpose" in this case or in any other case.

Related stories:
Remembering Van Tuong Nguyen -- 29 November, 2006
Trade undisturbed by Singapore execution -- 04 July 2006
Victoria criticises Singapore death penalty -- 17 April 2006

Asia death penalty, death penalty, drug trade, drugs, execution, human rights, Nguyen Tuong Van, Singapore, Van Tuong Nguyen

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