Cruel, Pointless: Nguyen Tuong Van’s Death

Topic: The Real World 14 years, 2 months ago

Any Australian, and indeed many others around the world, would be aware of the unfortunate plight of Australian Nguyen Tuong Van. In case my use of the words ‘unfortunate plight’ has not already made it clear, I believe Nguyen’s execution this morning at 09:00 AEDT is undeserved and inhumane.

Nguyen reportedly only entered the drug trade voluntarily to help pay debts his twin brother had accumulated from legal costs and a previous heroin addiction, but will not let his brother be blamed for his predicament. He has even banned his lawyers from ever questioning his brother over the crime (source: News.com.au). How is such a punishment commensurate to the crime committed?

Nguyen has also had the courage and dignity to remain strong for his family and friends in the face of certain death, even as they break down around him. It is a man capable of such love and his family that will be destroyed this morning, without even an opportunity for Nguyen’s mother to embrace her son one final time. How can any human being inflict such suffering on another?

The amount of drugs Nguyen was carrying, particularly as heroin, would obviously have been seriously damaging had it made it to the streets, with the potential to hurt many individuals and many families. However, Nguyen’s execution will not put an end to drug trafficking — how will killing a mere expendable drug mule stop those plying in this trade? Singapore has the highest rate of executions per capita in the world, with most of them being for drug crimes. And they’re trying to tell us that using the death penalty is an effective deterrent?

Singapore be Damned

Whether it is mandatory death penalties or vainly encouraging the intelligentsia to breed together, I have always been appalled at the draconian, inequitable and absurd policies of the Singaporean government. As such, I have never visited Singapore nor do I intend to in the future. I can only urge you to do the same. It is of course not fair to tarnish all Singaporeans with the same brush, but anyone who supports such injustice should rightly be reminded to be ashamed and any such business should be boycotted.

Institutionalised murder has always been inhumane and ineffective, but execution by hanging of a remorseful young man who committed a crime under mitigating circumstances is positively despicable. One might think civilised humans today do not engage in such barbaric acts, but as usual heartless Singapore proves you can always sink lower.

SMH: The first Australian to be executed in 12 years
NEWS.com.au: Van Nguyen set to hang today
BBC News: Australian anger over Singapore hanging

Jan’s Birthday — Back to the ’80s On Holidays Until 13 Dec 2005

1 Comment Add your own

  • . Rahi  |  14 years, 2 months ago

    Yes i totally agree. 2 wrongs do not make a right. Killing a drug smuggler will anly cause more pain and torment for the family involved. Yet the cost the family is paying is being ignored. Being refused a mere hug, is immoral. It seems to me that Singapore is trying to be tough. Well, this isn’t the way to send that message. Its called education. Concentrate on education not prosecution.

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