Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Leaked document reveals Viet Nam aims to suppress political opposition

A leaked internal document from the Communist Party of Viet Nam, which was obtained, verified and translated by Human Rights Watch, shows that the government is pursuing a policy of suppressing political opposition, the group’s Asia advocacy director told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee Wednesday.

According to HRW’s Sophie Richardson, the confidential document, detailing the conclusions of a Politburo meeting of August 6, 2007, states that recent political trials have “achieved some degree of success.” Their purpose is “making an example or teaching a lesson, to effectively prevent the contrarian political activities of the enemy forces while they are still in the embryonic stages.”

It claims that those carrying out “reactionary anti-state activities” will “utilize international forums on democracy and human rights, religions and races to strengthen their reputation, slander and make false accusation against the state.”

Political trials are needed, the document says, but “political, rhetorical, argumentative and professional” techniques should also be used to “limit the spread of false ideas in the population about democracy, human rights, religious freedom, which impacts negatively on the Party and the State foreign policy.”

It uses this as a reason to “fortify the security measures to ensure our political stability, peaceful order in society and…to ensure the perpetuation and stability of socialism.”

For the full text of Richardson’s testimony, and to read extracts from the document, click here.


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