Democracy Advocates Convicted in Vietnam

21 10 2009

sealembassyHanoi, October 14, 2009

The Embassy of the United States in Hanoi is deeply disturbed by the convictions last week of nine democracy activists in Vietnam.

The nine individuals were charged with conducting “anti-government propaganda” and given sentences of up to six years in prison for undertaking peaceful activities in support of democracy, human rights and political pluralism. The activists were simply expressing their views peacefully and posed no threat to Vietnam’s national security.  We are also concerned about the arrest of writer Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, who was beaten and arrested after she publicly expressed her support for the nine activists.  No individual should be beaten, arrested, or jailed for exercising the right to free speech.

These actions, together with the violent expulsion of monks and nuns from the Bat Nha Monastery in Lam Dong Province and the government’s failure to protect them from assault, contradict Vietnam’s own commitment to internationally accepted standards of human rights and the rule of law.

We urge the Government of Vietnam to honor its international human rights commitments, and immediately and unconditionally release these and other prisoners who are in detention for peacefully expressing their views.




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