Catholic Students unite to help death row Aussie
The Australian Catholic Students Association (ACSA) has been backed by international affiliates in its support for attempts to persuade the Singapore Government to commute the death sentence of Van Tuong Nguyen.
Yesterday Nguyen's mother received notification from Singapore authorities that the execution has been set down for 2 December.
ACSA President Daniel Hill said yesterday that there is still more that can be done to save this young man's life.
"We are ncouraged by the decision of Prime Minister John Howard to personally intervene and seek discussions with the Singapore Government while he is in Korea, but we urge him that if at first he does not succeed, that he keeps trying," he said. "Every day, as a nation, we enter in to diplomatic relations, ever determined in our efforts to secure benefits for our nation. Australians are known for their hard work and perseverance - on this occasion this is ever more important."
Mr Hill said that ACSA members are writing letters to the Singapore Government. They are attending rallies and supporting the Reach Out Campaign.
"We are encouraged that the international movement is committed to helping all Australians of good will in this effort," he said. "These are not fanciful dreams, it is about the spirit that we all share as Australians that with stronger and more fervent action we can bring Van home."
The International Movement of Catholic Students has committed to circulating the appeal to other national Catholic movements, to encourage solidarity action,
"This is the first time in many years that we have worked together in such a dramatic way as this. The plight of Van is one that moves our hearts with compassion. We must not give up."
Australian International Movement of Catholic Students Liaison Aaron Russell said: "Van was once a student. Van is now young man in need of the care and protection of our nation. While Van is still alive there is hope and that means there are still things we can do as a nation",
The involvement of the IMCS came as the United States Bishops Conference this week called for an end of the death penalty.
"When the state, in our names and with our taxes, ends a human life despite having non-lethal alternatives, it suggests that society can overcome violence with violence…The use of the death penalty ought to be abandoned not only for what it does to those who are executed, but what it does to all of society," the statement said.
Students from across the world unite to help save young Aussie's life (Australian Catholic Students Association 17/11/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Catholic Students Association | Background to Van Tuoung Nguyen Case | You Can Help
International Movement of Catholic Students
International Movement of Catholic Students (Australia)
Two weeks to live (Daily Telegraph 18/11/05)
Date set for Nguyen's hanging (Sydney Morning Herald 18/11/05)
Execution date furore (The Age 18/11/05)
Death Penalty: Taking The Lead On Life (Vatican Radio English Features 17/11/05, audio - requires Real Player)
U.S. Bishops Call for End to Death Penalty (Zenit 16/11/05)
18 Nov 2005