Senator Ngo Condemns
Vietnam’s Continuous Record of
Human Rights Violations
Ottawa, December 4, 2015 – Today Senator Thanh Hai Ngo issued the following statement:
“I am deeply concerned about recent cases of human rights violations in Vietnam during November 2015, which show that the human right problems in Vietnam remain critical. In Vietnam today, religious leaders, civil society activists and bloggers continue to face daily harassment and intimidation from the authorities simply for expressing their views peacefully, with no legal framework to protect them, at a time when the country is seeking to strengthen economic and security ties with Canada. Recent reports and international actors have highlighted that the Vietnamese Communist Party continues its one-party rule, violating the basic human rights of its own citizens, who suffer ongoing harassment and intimidation without any legal recourse to demand justice.
On November 24, 2015, 15-year-old Nguyen Mai Trung Tuan was unfairly tried and sentenced by the People’s Court of Thanh Hoa district to 4.5 years’ imprisonment and ordered to pay compensation of VND 42.6 million ($1,880). Authorities also brutally arrested his parents, who had stood up against the confiscation of their farm land taken in “compensation,” which was purchased for only one sixth of its market value.
Ms. Do Thi Minh Hanh and Mr. Truong Minh Duc, both Vietnamese labour right activists, were subjected to severe police brutality and were detained for distributing leaflets advocating for labour rights and for speaking with fired workers in southern Long An Province.
The Most Venerable Thich Quang Do, a renowned spiritual leader, scholar, dissident and 16-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, has spent more than three decades in detention for his peaceful advocacy of religious freedom, democracy and human rights. The spiritual leader has yet to be allowed to leave his home despite the Vietnamese government’s claims that he has been released from house arrest after three decades in detention. It is time for the Canadian government to join President Obama in calling for the monk’s immediate and unconditional release.
Human Rights Watch has warned that Vietnam is enacting new national security laws toconduct widespread “national security” arrests as a way to stifle dissent and arrest critics. It is estimated that from June 2012 to November 2015 there have been 1,410 cases involving 2,680 people who violated national security, a number that is expected to rise drastically with new proposed laws calling for harsher punishments against political activities for the express purpose of targeting democracy and human right groups.
“These recent events last month in Vietnam demonstrate that the Communist authorities are actively targeting all those who oppose them by imposing harsh punishments, despite promising to support labour rights following the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership, after rejecting recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review to improve its human rights record and in spite of the advice given by the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. In honour of International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2015, Vietnam should heed the numerous calls for greater respect of fundamental freedom and human dignity and undertake demonstrable progress toward achieving greater respect for universal human rights standards.”
For more information on the human rights situation in Vietnam please consult:
– Our annual Human Rights Report: http://goo.gl/CYqfkI
– Official website: www.senatorngo.ca
Senator Thanh Hai Ngo’s Office