Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, April 12, 2007

HRW condemns Vietnamese government

Human Rights Watch last week issued a statement calling on the Vietnamese government to stop the persecution of citizens attempting to exercise their freedoms.

Bloc 8406, a pro-democracy group that is now over a year old, has been the prime target in the government’s ongoing crackdown on dissidents. Many of the founding members of the group have been arrested, sentenced, harassed, and interrogated. Family members of group members have also been harassed.

Originally, the group had 100 signatures on its manifesto, but this number rose to over 2,000 in August of last year. Five of the original signatories were sentenced to prison, though some had their sentences were later suspended. Father Nguyen Van Ly has been the most recently imprisoned, receiving a sentence of eight years in prison. Additionally, Nguyen Phong and Nguyen Binh Thanh were sentenced, while Le Thi Le Hang and Hoang Thi Anh Dao received suspended sentences.

Two prominent human rights lawyers, Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan, are still in jail awaiting charges, while two other lawyers, Le Quoc Quan and Tran Thuy Trang, are missing after their arrests. Their families have been forbidden from talking about the case.

In addition to the members of Bloc 8406, the government has also persecuted Christian Montagnards and members of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam. In the Central Highlands, more than 350 Montagnards remain in prison for practicing their faith or taking part in peaceful movements for land reform and increased religious freedom.

To read the report, click here.


Post a Comment

<< Home