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Stanford Law School’s Allen Weiner Files Update With United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on Behalf of 17 Vietnamese Social and Political Activists Stanford Law School.

“Allen Weiner, director of the Stanford Program in International and Comparative Law at Stanford Law School, today filed an update to the petition initially submitted to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) in Geneva in July 2012 contesting the illegal arrest and on-going detention of seventeen Vietnamese social and political activists.”

Vietnamese Photojournalist Continues Hunger Strike After Four Years Behind Bars The Media Legal Defence Initiative.

“Young photo journalist Minh Man Dang Nguyen has been on hunger strike for prolonged periods of time in recent months to protest the ill-treatment she has received while in detention in Vietnam. As a result of her repeated hunger strikes, she recently weighed only 35 kg.”

World Report 2015: Vietnam Human Rights Watch.

“The human rights situation in Vietnam remained critical in 2014. The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) continued its one-party rule, in place since 1975. Maintaining its monopoly on state power, it faced growing public discontent with the lack of basic freedoms. While fewer bloggers and activists were arrested than in 2013, the security forces increased various forms of harassment and intimidation of critics.”

Vietnam: Release Convicted Activists Human Rights Watch.

The conviction and prison sentences of 14 activists by the People’s Court of Nghe An province on January ­­­9, 2012, marks a sharp escalation of government attacks on critics. The convictions of the 14 should be quashed immediately, as should charges against the prominent blogger, Le Quoc Quan, arrested in late December.”

Amnesty International Report 2014/15: The State of the World’s Human Rights Amnesty International.

“Conditions of detention for prisoners of conscience were harsh, including lack of adequate medical care and nutritious food. Some were subject to ill-treatment by other prisoners without intervention by prison guards, and to incommunicado detention. Family visits were conducted in the presence of guards who prohibited discussion of perceived sensitive subjects. Prisoners were sometimes moved without their families being informed, and some were held in prisons distant from their homes, making family visits difficult. Some prisoners were encouraged to “confess” to the offences for which they were convicted in order to be considered for release. ”

Silenced Voices Amnesty International.

“The rights to freedom of expression, as well as the right not to be subjected to arbitrary detention or to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to a fair trial are protected under international law. In particular, they are protected under treaties which Viet Nam has ratified, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Viet Nam Constitution affirms these rights, but also provides for limitations on them beyond what is permitted under international law.”

Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Vietnam U.S. Department of State.

“The law allows the government to arrest and detain persons under vague national security provisions. The government continued to arrest and detain individuals for peacefully expressing political or religious views under other legal provisions of the penal code, including “causing public disorder” (article 245), “resisting persons on duty” (article 257), or “abusing democratic freedoms” (article 258). Authorities regularly subjected activists to administrative detention or house arrest.”

Human Rights in Vietnam Civil Rights Defenders.

“Against the backdrop of a growing and diversifying civil society movement, the Government of Vietnam continues to repress dissidents and human rights defenders and has taken steps in recent years to amend or introduce laws and regulations that impact on civil and political rights. A host of laws, regulations and decrees grant broad discretionary powers to officials to impose restrictions of basic rights and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution and under international human rights law.”

Engaging Vietnam on Human Rights The Diplomat.

“When human rights in Vietnam are discussed in the international community it is invariably the nation’s track record on freedom of speech, or lack thereof, which takes precedence. The communist nation is regularly excoriated for its human rights track record, by which critics usually mean the locking up of bloggers, but the issues that so concern many of those same bloggers – corruption, police brutality, and workers’ rights, among others – are often all but absent from the majority of discussions about human rights, at least publicly.”

Statement  Human Rights Council 20 June 2014 Delivered by Dang Xuong Hung UN Watch.
“My name is Dang Xuong Hung and I am the former Consul of Vietnam in Geneva, and the former Deputy Director of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I had been a member of the Communist Party since 1986. I abandoned my post and left the Party in October 2013 in order to denounce the human rights violations.”

Freedom in the World 2015: Vietnam Report Freedom House.
“In 2014, Vietnam continued to suppress freedom of expression online, in print, and through public demonstrations. The state enacted Decree 174 to institute harsh new penalties for certain types of speech in blogs and social media, expanding upon government powers to censor internet and social media usage in place under a previous decree. Several high-profile internet writers and bloggers were arrested, while the trials of other prominent activists proceeded despite international pressure for their release.”

Subcommittee Hearing: Human Rights Abuses by Vietnamese Authorities House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

“Mr. Nguyen Van Hai (Dieu Cay). All media in Vietnam is in the hands of the Communist regime. The people don’t have a platform to raise their voice. People do not dare to speak their views simply because any disagreement with the ruling party can get you arrested under vague laws such as Articles 258, 88, and 79 of the criminal code. A conviction under one of these statutes can result in a dozen years in prison. It is these vague laws that allow authorities to arrest and imprison anyone with differing opinions and to maintain their dictatorship.”

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