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VIet Nam

    October 17, 2018

     Responding to news of the release of blogger “Mother Mushroom” in Viet Nam, Nicholas Bequelin, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and South East Asia, said:

    “This good news, which comes as a relief after two years behind bars, should also be a reminder of Viet Nam’s worsening record of jailing anyone who criticises the regime. While Mother Mushroom is no longer imprisoned, the condition for her release was exile and there are over one hundred people languishing in jail because they peacefully spoke their mind – in public, on blogs or on Facebook.

    “The mobilization around the world for Mother Mushroom’s case should trigger a change of course for Viet Nam’s leaders. The Cybersecurity Law due to take effect in January 2019 will only give authorities more tools to silence dissent and put people away. It should not be implemented – lest others face the same horrific treatment as Mother Mushroom and other peaceful critics still in jail. All prisoners of conscience should have their sentences quashed and should be released immediately and unconditionally.”

    October 05, 2018

    Responding to the prison sentences of between eight and 15 years handed to five peaceful protestors by the People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City today, Minar Pimple, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Global Operations, said:

    “Luu Van Vinh is a construction worker and member of a small group interested in the environment, as well as democracy and human rights. Today, he and his co-defendants were found guilty of ‘activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration.’ They have already spent almost two years in prison awaiting trial. This cruel and senseless ruling is clearly aimed at stifling people’s right to speak their mind. They should immediately and unconditionally be released.

    “Thirteen people have been placed behind bars in only the past five weeks for ‘crimes’ such as blogging, using Facebook and other peaceful pursuits. This is a deeply concerning escalation. These convictions and jail sentences should all be voided immediately, as should those of over one hundred other prisoners of conscience languishing in Viet Nam’s jails.

    September 10, 2018

    Amnesty International’s Senior Director of Global Operations, Minar Pimple, has been refused an entry visa to speak at this week’s World Economic Forum on ASEAN event in Hanoi, further evidence of the Vietnamese government’s ongoing crackdown against freedom of expression.

    Minar Pimple, who is part of Amnesty International’s senior leadership team, was due to speak on diversity and pluralism, yet has been refused permission to attend.

    World Economic Forum (WEF) officials who communicated with the Viet Nam government were told Pimple’s visa had been earmarked for refusal.

    Amnesty International Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said, “We condemn this decision to stifle debate from a regular contributor to the WEF who has spoken at the highest levels on human rights issues around the world. This comes at a time when freedom of expression is under deep threat in Viet Nam. The government’s actions undermine an event that depends on a plurality of views, and they are giving ASEAN a bad name.”

    August 21, 2018
    DOWNLOAD PDF OF UA 155/18 HERE

     

    Human rights defender Trần Thị Nga claims to have been brutally beaten and threatened by an inmate. The attacks may have been orchestrated by prison authorities to punish her. Detained for more than 18 months, Trần Thị Nga is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately and unconditionally released. 

    Trần Thị Nga, also known by her nickname “Thúy Nga”, told her husband that she has recently been beaten up and has faced death threats by other inmates during a five-minute conversation on 17 August 2018. Only allowed one phone call with her family per month, Trần Thị Nga had told her family in July that she was being held in the same prison cell as a prisoner notorious for helping prison guards intimidate and beat-up other prisoners. Her husband has shared his grave concern for her safety as their connection was abruptly cut off when she tried to report her condition in prison. Her final words to him were “I have been often beaten and they recently threatened to kill me”. 

    July 09, 2018

    Ahead of tomorrow’s appeal hearing for three Vietnamese human rights defenders - Vu Quang Thuan, Nguyen Van Dien and Tran Hoang Phuc - who were sentenced to up to eight years in prison in January on charges of “anti-state propaganda” in relation to posts they made on social media, Amnesty International's Senior Director of Global Operations Minar Pimple said:

    “Vu Quang Thuan, Nguyen Van Dien and Tran Hoang Phuc are victims of the Vietnamese government’s shameful crackdown on all forms of dissent. They have been targeted purely for their peaceful activism.

    “These three men have committed no crime; they have merely used social media to express opinions that the authorities do not like – namely by supporting the protection of human rights and social justice in the country.  

    “Viet Nam’s long-running use of repressive laws to prosecute and punish peaceful activists must end. As a start, Hanoi’s High Court must tomorrow quash all charges against these men and release them.”

    Background

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    July 25, 2017
      Responding to the conviction and sentencing of the labour and land rights activist Trần Thị Nga to nine years in prison for “conducting propaganda against the state” in Viet Nam today, Amnesty International’s Deputy Campaigns Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Josef Benedict, said:   “Today’s conviction and imprisonment of Trần Thị Nga are outrageous and must be reversed immediately. She is a prisoner of conscience who has done nothing but peacefully defend human rights.   “This is the second conviction of a woman human rights defender in less than a month in Viet Nam, where authorities are stepping up efforts to put peaceful activists behind bars. The government is destroying the lives of brave individuals and their families simply to intimidate others from raising their voices.   “There are more than 90 prisoners of conscience in Viet Nam today, and the numbers are only growing. The harsh restrictions on rights defenders and activism must end immediately.”  
    September 06, 2016

    President Francois Hollande of France must confront Vietnamese authorities over their treatment of one women’s fight for justice when he visits the country this week, Amnesty International said today.

    Amnesty International calls on the French president to raise in particular the case of Ngô Thanh Kiều, a young man who died in police custody in Phú Yên province in 2012. Since his death, his sister Ngô Thị Tuyết and her family have undertaken a brave crusade for justice in the face of physical attacks, death threats and other forms of intimidation.

    Recently, the family found the carcass of a shaved cat flung at their home. It bore a chilling note warning Ngô Thị Tuyết and her family to stop raising her brother’s case or suffer a similar fate.

    “Human rights must not be sacrificed to trade and security deals. President Hollande must use his visit to call on the Vietnamese authorities to meet their human rights obligations under international law,” said Camille Blanc, Chair of Amnesty International France.

    July 11, 2016

    A new report published by Amnesty International today casts a rare light on the torture and other harrowing treatment of prisoners of conscience locked up in Viet Nam’s secretive network of prisons and detention centres.

    Prisons within Prisons: Torture and ill-treatment of prisoners of conscience in Viet Nam details the ordeals endured by prisoners of conscience in one of the most closed countries in Asia, including prolonged periods of incommunicado detention and solitary confinement, enforced disappearances, the denial of medical treatment, and punitive prison transfers.

    “Viet Nam is a prolific jailer of prisoners of conscience; this report offers a rare glimpse at the horror that those prisoners face in detention,” said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.

    “Viet Nam ratified the UN Convention against Torture in 2015. This in itself is not enough. In order to meet its human rights obligations, the authorities must introduce reforms in line with international law and ensure accountability for torture and ill treatment.”

    May 23, 2016

    Vietnamese authorities must end their crackdown on peaceful protesters and release all prisoners of conscience, Amnesty International said today.

    As Viet Nam hosts US President Barack Obama on a three-day visit, the authorities have pressed ahead with their assault on the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly by arresting six peaceful activists and orchestrating a campaign of intimidation and harassment against dozens more.

    “Even as it faces the glare of global attention with the US President’s visit, the Vietnamese authorities, shamefully, are carrying out their repressive business as usual,” said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty International’s Director for South East Asia and the Pacific.

    The six peaceful activists who have been arrested in recent days are: Nancy Nguyễn, Nguyễn Viết Dũng, Phạm Đoan Trang, Vũ Huy Hoàng, Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh, and Nguyễn Bá Vinh.

    March 22, 2016

    The trial and continuing detention of a blogger and his assistant who have already spent almost two years in jail is farcical and a blight on the country’s human rights record, said Amnesty International ahead of the opening hearing in Ha Noi tomorrow.

    The organization is calling for the immediate release of Nguyễn Hữu Vinh, founder of the popular blogsite Anh Ba Sàm, and his assistant Nguyễn Thị Minh Thúy who were arrested for “abusing democratic freedoms” in May 2014 in connection with political blogs which were critical of government policies. The pair face a sentence of up to seven years’ imprisonment if convicted.

    “This is a textbook example of the authorities’ stamping out legitimate criticism and perpetuating a climate of fear in which people are forced to think twice before expressing themselves and asking questions of government,” said Champa Patel, Director of South East Asia Regional Office.

    December 16, 2015

    Authorities in Viet Nam must immediately and unconditionally release human rights lawyer Nguyễn Vãn Ðài, who has been detained on charges of “spreading propaganda against the state” shortly after the EU-Viet Nam Human Rights dialogue was held in the capital Ha Noi, Amnesty International said today.

    According to a statement by the Ministry of Public Security, Nguyễn Vãn Ðài was taken into police custody on Wednesday and charged under Article 88 of the Penal Code, which has frequently been used to imprison peaceful activists and human rights defenders. A search warrant was issued for his house in Ha Noi. The arrest comes a month before the once every five years National Congress of the Communist Party of Viet Nam which is often preceded by a crackdown on dissent.

    December 09, 2015

    The Vietnamese authorities must put an end to a wave of vicious and violent attacks on human rights defenders and end the persistent impunity by ensuring those responsible are brought to justice, Amnesty International said.

    In the latest attack on Sunday 6 December, four activists – including prominent human rights lawyer and former prisoner of conscience Nguyễn Vãn Ðài – were abducted and beaten by a group of 20 men in plainclothes. They were returning from a public forum on constitutional rights in Nghệ An province, which the authorities had tried to shut down.

    “Brutal attacks on human rights defenders have become routine in Viet Nam yet no steps have been taken to bring those responsible to justice. This wave of violence must end immediately,” said John Coughlan, Amnesty International’s Viet Nam Researcher.

    “Peaceful activists in Viet Nam are working under harsh conditions and suffer impermissible restrictions on their rights to freedom of expression and assembly. It is outrageous that they have to risk both their health and liberty simply for speaking up for human rights.”

    October 27, 2014

    Nguyen Van Hai, better known by his pen name Dieu Cay (“peasant’s pipe”), was released from prison, having served four years of a 12-year prison sentence.

    His reportedly deteriorating health and the harsh prison conditions in Vietnam makes his release even more welcome.

    Immediately after his release he was taken to the airport and put on a plane, bound for the USA. Nguyen Van Hai’s sudden release shows how the passion and persistence of Amnesty International members can help in the struggle for human rights in Vietnam.

    He was jailed for writing an online blog that called for an end to injustice and corruption in Vietnam.  Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience and campaigned tirelessly for four years demanding his release.

    Thank you to Amnesty supporters who took action on his case and helped us win his freedom!

    Read press release

     

    Read more Amnesty International Good News Stories

    October 22, 2014

    The release from prison of one of Viet Nam’s most high profile prisoners of conscience is a positive step, but authorities must now free the scores of other peaceful activists behind bars, said Amnesty International today.

    Nguyen Van Hai, better known by his pen name Dieu Cay (“peasant’s pipe”), was released from prison yesterday, having served four years of a 12-year prison sentence. Immediately after his release he was taken to the airport and put on a plane, eventually bound for the USA.

    A popular blogger on social justice issues, Dieu Cay was charged under the vaguely worded Article 88 of Viet Nam’s Penal Code for “conducting propaganda” against the state. He was sentenced to prison in September 2012 after an unfair trial.

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