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Australian Woman, 73, Sentenced To Death In Vietnam On Drug Charges

Heroin was found stuffed in bags of soap on a Sydney-bound flight.

01/07/2016 9:10 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:56 PM AEST
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Australian citizen Nguyen Thi Huong, 73, has been given the death penalty after she was stopped at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City with bars of soap stuffed with heroin.

The police-run Ho Chi Minh City Police newspaper said the Vietnam-born woman was sentenced to death at Ho Chi Minh City People's Court on Wednesday over the 2014 incident, and found guilty of heroin possession and trafficking.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said it would not give up on the woman's plight in a statement released Friday morning.

"We are concerned that an Australian citizen has been sentenced to death in Vietnam.

We will continue to provide consular assistance and support to the woman and her family."

Earlier this month, Australia was present at the World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Oslo with the Department of Foreign Affairs releasing a statement saying:

There is no place for the death penalty in the modern world.

The death penalty is cruel and inhumane. Miscarriages of justice can result in the inadvertent execution of innocents: minorities and the poor are disproportional victims.

Huong reportedly always maintained her innocence, saying she'd been given the soap as a gift.

Huong has two weeks to appeal the death sentence.

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