Although I’m not a fan of the death penalty, you have to respect the gangsta of a country that says “You will not transport, distribute, or sell drugs in our country”. Apparently America, if you actually plan to win a war on drugs, you have to do *something* to stop the drugs from entering your country. Something, that is, besides allow, aid in, and profit from the transportation of drugs into your country. Who knew??
From Cnn.com: Drug smuggler’s fate sealed
Australian state official makes last-ditch plea to save man’s life
Wednesday, November 23, 2005; Posted: 11:38 a.m. EST (16:38 GMT)
CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) — Nothing more can be done to save an Australian drug smuggler due to be executed in Singapore next week, Australian Prime Minister John Howard said amid calls for Australians to boycott companies linked to the city-state.
Howard said the planned December 2 hanging of 25-year-old Nguyen Tuong Van — who was convicted by Singapore of trying to smuggle 400 grams (0.9 pound) of heroin from Cambodia — could now only be stopped by the Singapore government.
Lawyers for Nguyen asked the Australian government on Monday to take the case to the United Nations International Court of Justice, but Howard said the court has no jurisdiction and that there was no point giving Nguyen’s mother — Kim Nguyen — any false hope.
“She is a dear woman who is understandably feeling completely desolate and distressed and I wished I could have found it within my executive power to have done something, but it is a matter for the government of Singapore,” Howard told reporters during a visit to Pakistan late on Tuesday.
Nguyen’s mother, who privately met Howard last week, and his twin brother visited him in Singapore on Tuesday. Australia has said Nguyen, who is from the southern city of Melbourne, was carrying drugs to help his brother pay off debts to loan sharks.
Australia asked for clemency on the grounds that Nguyen had cooperated and could be a witness in future drug cases.
Victoria state Attorney General Rob Hulls plans to travel to Singapore later on Wednesday in a last-ditch plea for Nguyen’s life and is due to meet Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs Ho Peng Kee on Thursday.
Opposition Labor leader Kym Beazley said that while it was unlikely an appeal to the International Court of Justice would be successful, Australia should still proceed with the case.
“It’s not simply just about winning — it’s about putting on a bit of pressure,” Beazley told reporters on Wednesday.
A television straw poll showed on Wednesday that 43 percent of Australians believed Nguyen’s case should be taken to the International Court of Justice, while 48 percent agreed with Howard that nothing more could be done.
Internet lobby group www.getup.org.au said nearly 6,000 Australians have e-mailed Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, while Amnesty International has received several thousand text messages supporting its campaign opposing Nguyen’s hanging.
Although Howard has dismissed calls for trade sanctions to be imposed on Singapore over the case, human rights campaigners have suggested Australians boycott companies linked to the city-state.
“There can be a consumer strike — that is Australians can decide not to purchase products made in Singapore or services offered by the Singaporean government,” human rights lawyer Tim Robertson told Australian Broadcasting Corp. television.
“Most of the major companies in Singapore are in fact owned directly or indirectly by the government there.”
Howard said he would not raise Nguyen’s case at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta this week.
Copyright 2005 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Last Update: Thursday, December 1, 2005. 7:00am (AEDT)
Family, friends prepare to farewell Nguyen
It is now roughly 24 hours until convicted Australian drug trafficker Van Nguyen will be executed in Changi Prison.
Nguyen will spend his last full day alive seeing friends and family, as well as his two lawyers who have flown in from Melbourne.
He will be executed in around 24 hours.
His mother, brother and friends will be granted extended visiting hours today.
The last of his legal team, Julian McMahon, flew in from Melbourne late last night.
He and lawyer Lex Lasry will say goodbye to the 25-year-old this morning.
Mr Lasry says Nguyen is in good spirits, has been overwhelmed by all the support, and is ready to face his death.
Nguyen’s mother is still waiting to hear if she will be able to hug him one last time.
She will see her son for the last time this evening.
Meanwhile Singapore has called on Australia to respect its sovereign right to apply its laws.
Singapore’s High Commissioner to Australia, Joseph Koh, says his country must apply the laws equally to foreigners and its own citizens.
Mr Koh says there have been many myths raised in the debate surrounding the mandatory death sentence.
He says the death penalty has been shown to deter drug traffickers and Nguyen’s punishment fits the crime.
Mr Koh says he hopes Australians will respect his country’s right to impose the death penalty for serious crimes.
“I think the law is legitimised if it is supported by the overwhelming majority of Singaporeans,” he said.
Mr Koh says he has been touched by the pain and anguish of Nguyen’s mother but if Singapore wavers, many more families would be shattered by drugs.
He also says his country has noted a request from the Federal Government to allow Nguyen’s mother, Kim, to hug her son before his execution.