Vigil held for slain women

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 20:11 18/12/2013
Vigil for Sarwan Lata and Mei Fan
MAARTEN HOLL/ Fairfax NZ

CANDLE LIGHT: The vigil for Sarwan Lata and Mei Fan was attended by about 100 people.

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As their loved ones await justice, a candlelight vigil has been held for two murder victims who died just weeks apart in their adopted home of Wellington.

About 100 mourners attended the vigil tonight in Civic Square for Sarwan Lata and Mei Fan, both killed at their own homes in November.

Police continue to search for the killer of Ms Fan, a Mongolian-born mother-of-two who was found murdered aged 37, at her Brussells Street home in Miramar on November 10.

Weeks later Ms Lata, a supermarket checkout operator, was found dead at her house in Woodridge, near Newlands, on November 26. 

After her funeral in Wellington, her remains were returned to her native home of Fiji.

A man, aged 47, whose name is suppressed, has appeared in Wellington District Court on charges including murder, aggravated burglary of Ms Lata's home, and breaching a protection order.

He was remanded to a psychiatric care facility. Reports about his fitness to plead are expected to be provided at a hearing tomorrow in the Wellington High Court.

The vigil was organised by Shakti, a not-for-profit organisation that supports women and children of Asian, African and Middle Eastern origin living in New Zealand who fall victim to violence.

Community support group leaders and politicians, including Labour MP Grant Robertson and Green party spokeswoman for women’s and ethnic affairs Jan Logie spoke at the vigil this evening.

They paid tribute to the victims and emphasised the levels of violence faced by women in New Zealand every day.

Women’s Refuge chief executive Heather Henare said the community needed to work together to prevent tragedy recurring.

"We need to throw up our hands and say we want to end violence against women and children, and ask ourselves how are we going to do that."


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