Two Australians facing the death penalty in Vietnam have been granted clemency
Two Australians facing the death penalty in Vietnam have been granted clemency after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited the country on the weekend.
“I made representations to the Prime Minister yesterday morning and by yesterday afternoon the president had signed the clemency orders,” Mr Albanese told 7.30 on Monday after returning to Australia.
“Australia has a strong position of opposition to the death penalty and we make representations on behalf of Australian citizens.
“We are very pleased that Vietnam has agreed to the request and we thank them for it.”
Mr Albanese did not name the two Australians who have been granted clemency, and said their families had been given the good news.
“The families have been informed and very relieved that Australia,” he said.
“They have asked their privacy be respected which is why I am not mentioning their names them tonight.”
The Prime Minister said the breakthrough was in part due to improved relationships between Australia and Vietnam.
Several Australians are on death row in a number of countries. Six have been executed, the most recent being Bali 9 ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia in 2015.
Mr Albanese spent the weekend in Vietnam to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“We are strategic partners and we’ve been enduring friends over that 50 years,” he said.
Mr Albanese also met separately with Vietnam’s National Assembly President, President of the Socialist Republic, and General-Secretary of the country’s Communist Party as part of a concerted effort to strengthen trade and economic ties.
Mr Albanese said Australia wanted to work together with its neighbours, especially when dealing with the challenges of climate change.
“I am pleased to announce that Australia will be stepping up our support for Vietnam’s energy transformation, with an important package of new overseas development assistance of $105m for supporting sustainable infrastructure planning, for stimulating private investment in clean energy infrastructure, and delivering technical assistance to develop Vietnam’s critical mineral sector,” Mr Albanese said.