Wednesday, 14 December 2005

the hanging of Tuong Van Ngyuen

recently a young man from melbourne was hanged in singapore for the crime of having 400 grams of heroine in his possession and presumably intending to pass it on for profit.

there has been a lot said and written on the case and on the death penalty recently so there is little to add but this. singapore like many south east asian countries, often imposes the death penalty for drug offences. many mistakenly believe that this is because these countries are tough on drugs. even a cursory examination of the facts would however serve to dispel this notion. a large portion of the worlds heroin comes from this part of the world and the well known kings of this trade enjoy very good relationships with the region’s governments. They are respected “pillars” of the community who enjoy the protection and prestige afforded to people of substance and wealth.

The reason these countries kill small time drug traffickers and users is because they want to maintain their position at the wholesale end of this market, where government has more control and where the greater costs are borne by other countries. i sympathise with the family and friends of this man who unfortunately is just another person to die in the pursuit of international trade objectives.

for more such deaths, though not by judicial means or as swift, see this weeks conclusion of the Dohar round of (WTO) talks in HK.

mess mess mess