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.”