Vietnam

Vietnam: Cease Reprisals Against Mother Mushroom’s Family

Photo: Jonas Gratzer

Civil Rights Defenders has been informed that the family of detained blogger Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh (also known as Me Nam or “Mother Mushroom”) has been surrounded and confined by security police. Vietnam’s authorities should immediately lift this brazenly illegal measure and cease reprisals against Mother Mushroom’s family, which add to the injustice already made to the prominent blogger and her loved ones.

Vietnam: Blogger “Mother Mushroom” Spends 200th Day in Detention

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Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh was arrested and detained on 10 October 2016 for allegedly conducting “Anti-state propaganda”. 200 days have passed and she continues to be denied any contact with her family and lawyer. Popularly known under her pen name Me Nam (“Mother Mushroom”), Ms. Quynh has for more than a decade been using social media to speak out against the Vietnamese government’s human rights violations.

Vietnam: Free Women Human Rights Defenders and End Persecution of Women Activists

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International Women’s Day (IWD) should be a wake-up call for the Vietnamese authorities to halt the repression and abuse of women who speak out for human rights, social justice and progress, Civil Rights Defenders said ahead of IWD celebrations on 8 March. Vietnam should seize this opportunity to take a first step to demonstrate its commitment to women’s rights by releasing all women human rights defenders, activists and bloggers it arbitrarily detains.

2015 Civil Rights Defender of the Year Arrested in Vietnam

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Yesterday, the Vietnamese Blogger, Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh was detained by the authorities in Khanh Hoa province of Vietnam accused of spreading propaganda against the State. Writing under the pen name Me Nam (Mother Mushroom), Ms. Qunyh was the 2015 recipient of the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award. No trial date has been given, but if convicted, Me Nam could face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years which is permitted under the current law.

Open Letter- Criticising Proposed Law on Belief and Religion in Vietnam

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Civil Rights Defenders and scores of other civil society organisations have written to the President of the Vietnam National Assembly on Vietnam’s draft Law on Belief and Religion expressing their concerns regarding the proposed Law. The draft law, which has been revised several times has drawn strong criticism from many religious communities, is expected to be voted into law by the National Assembly at its session in October-November 2016.

Human Rights in Vietnam

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. The public consultation period before the adoption of a revised Constitution in 2013 saw significant public demand for rule of law reforms. The legislature has amended a number of laws in 2015, including the Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code, and Civil Code. Laws on public assembly and on association are pending.

34 Years Later, Vietnam Needs Larger Freedom

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On the eve of the 34th anniversary of Vietnam becoming a party to key human rights treaties, the human rights situation in the country continues to be marked by the prosecution and imprisonment of human rights defenders, violence against activists and protesters, use of repressive laws to criminalise expression and assembly, and inadequate guarantees to ensure citizens’ right to participate in public affairs, including in land use and environmental decision-making.

Vietnam: Five Years in Prison for Popular Blogger

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On March 23, prominent blogger Nguyễn Hữu Vinh, more known under his pen name Anh Ba Sam, was sentenced to five years in prison. His assistant Nguyễn Thị Minh Thúy received a three-year prison sentence. “This is a clear case of the Vietnamese authorities using vaguely worded legal provisions as a tool to silence human rights defenders,” said Brittis Edman, South East Asia Programme Director at Civil Rights Defenders.

Vietnam: Call for Immediate Release of Prisoners of Conscience

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Civil Rights Defenders along with six civil society organisations call on the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release two prisoners of conscience Nguyễn Văn Đài and Lê Thu Hà. They were arrested on 16 December 2015 and charged under Article 88 of the Penal Code for ‘Conducting propaganda against the state’. All efforts by family and legal counsel to visit the pair since their arrests have been denied.

Vietnam Must End Arbitrary Detention of Human Rights Defenders

Vietnamese human rights defenders Nguyễn Vãn Ðài (L) and Lê Thu Hà (R).

In a statement released today, Civil Rights Defenders joins 25 civil society groups in calling on the Vietnamese authorities to drop charges against and immediately release human rights defenders Mr Nguyễn Vãn Ðài and Ms Lê Thu Hà, who have been in police custody in Hanoi after their arrest three weeks ago. The police have charged Ðài, a former prisoner of conscience, and his colleague Hà with “anti-state propaganda” under Article 88 of the Penal Code, which carries a prison sentence of between three and 20 years.

Civil Society Urges Obama to Press for the Release of Thich Quang Do

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Civil Rights Defenders along with numerous other civil society organisations in a letter to President Obama have called on him to press for the release of Vietnam’s most long standing prisoner of conscience Thich Quang Do. President Obama is due to attend the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum and the US – ASEAN and East Asia summits where he will have the opportunity to meet with Vietnamese leaders.

Joint Statement of Concern on Draft Law on Religion

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Civil Rights Defenders joins 26 civil society organizations in calling for Vietnam’s government to comprehensively revise the draft Law on Belief and Religion to comply with Vietnam’s obligations under international human rights law, and to do so through broad-based and inclusive consultation. In its present form, the draft law places limitations on freedom of religion or belief that extend beyond those permitted under international human rights law that is binding on Vietnam.

Vietnam: Restrictions on Freedom of Movement Violate Domestic and International Law

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Authorities in Vietnam have blocked at least 33 human rights defenders and activists from freely travelling abroad or internally in the last six months, despite legal protection of the right to freedom of movement. Civil Rights Defenders considers these restrictions arbitrary and in violation of Vietnam’s obligations under its own Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Fourth Viet Pride Promotes Diversity in Common Spaces in Vietnam

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Despite a rainy weekend, hundreds turned out to attend the 4th annual Viet Pride in Hanoi, that included a bike rally through the streets of the capital city on August 02nd . As part of its work to combat non-discrimination worldwide, Civil Rights Defenders supports Viet Pride and has participated in this year’s events along with a growing coalition of local and international supporting organisations, including civil society groups, businesses, and foreign embassies.

End of Sentence for Lawyer a Reminder of On-going Detention of Prisoners of Conscience in Vietnam

Le Quoc Quan, a prominent human rights lawyer and blogger, left An Diem prison in Quang Nam province last Saturday after completing his 30-month sentence. Civil Rights Defenders considers the 2013 “tax evasion” charges against Quan reprisal against his writings on human rights abuses and democratic reforms, topics usually not reported by State-controlled media in Vietnam.

Joint Statement Calling for the Release of Vietnamese Prisoner of Conscience

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Several human rights organizations call on the Vietnamese government to abide by their international and domestic obligations and immediately release Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Vietnamese ICT entrepreneur and blogger. Tran Huynh Duy Thuc was arrested under the initial charge of “promoting anti-government propaganda” under Article 88 of the Vietnamese Penal Code for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.