The campaign to save the life of Australian Van Tuong Nguyen will culminate with 3,000 Candles of Hope to be lit at Federation Mall, Parliament House in Canberra at 7.00 pm tonight.

The 3000 Candles of Hope vigil is part of an international action that will light up a monument or special building in opposition to the death penalty. Over 300 cities - including 29 capital cities - will illuminate their special or symbolic buildings for Cities of Life - Cities against the Death Penalty, including monuments such as the Colosseum in Rome.

Today marks the anniversary of the first abolition of the death penalty in a European State, the Great Duchy of Tuscany in 1786.

The Canberra vigil, hosted by the Amnesty International Parliamentary Group, is an opportunity for all parliamentarians, Canberrans and visitors to express their support for Van and his family by lighting a candle and standing in silent opposition to the death penalty.

Amnesty International will make available to all TV and print news media aerial visuals of the 108 metre candle display, created by Hervey Bay artist, Jorge Pujol.

Wednesday 30 November at 7.00pm, Federation Mall (lawn in front of Parliament House)

  • 4.00 pm Volunteers assemble 3000 candles
  • 7.00 pm Speakers: Russell Thirgood, President, Amnesty International Australia
    Brian Deegan
    Tony Trimingham, Director, Family Drug Support
  • 7.30pm Lighting of candles begins
  • 8.00pm Parliamentarians and staff light candles
    Bruce Baird, MP, Amnesty International Parliamentary Group
    Laurie Ferguson, MP, Amnesty International Parliamentary Group