What do Singaporeans think of Australians

politics : Australians executed in Singapore

Singapore - The 25-year-old Nguyen Tuong Van, from Vietnam, died on Friday, the Interior Ministry announced. The Australian government spoke of a barbaric act and calls for boycotts against goods from Singapore were raised in public.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard was particularly outraged that the Singapore authorities had refused to give the convict's mother a last hug. She was only allowed to hold his hands through a grate. He was "very disappointed" with the impersonal "clinical" reaction of the authorities, said Howard in an initial reaction after the execution. Howard spoke out against diplomatic sanctions.

"If individuals choose to boycott, well, that's their choice, but I don't encourage them," said Howard. You can't achieve anything with that. Across the country, thousands of people took part in vigils in Australia, a mass in the Church of the Catholic Community in Melbourne to which the executed man belonged, 700 people gathered for a mass and protested the death penalty.

In addition to the Australian government, Pope Benedict XVI. and its predecessor John Paul II. However, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong refused to postpone the execution on Thursday after meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

The Australian was caught in 2002 trying to smuggle 400 grams of heroin from Cambodia to Australia via Singapore. Singapore's drug laws are among the strictest in the world. The death penalty is mandatory for possession of more than 15 grams of heroin or more than 500 grams of cannabis. According to Amnesty International in 2004, almost 420 people have been executed in Singapore since 1991, most of them for drug offenses. Measured by population, more people were executed in the city-state than in any other state in the world. (tso / dpa)

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