Vigil held for two victims of violence

TALIA SHADWELL
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2013

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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 in Civic Square last night for Sarwan Lata and Mei Fan, both killed at their homes in November.

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

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 Fiji.

A man, 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 today in the High Court at Wellington.

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.

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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- The Dominion Post

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