Statement on International Human Rights Day 2016

Vietnamese organizations

December 9, 2016

December 10, 2016 marks the 68th anniversary of when the Universal Declaration of Human RIghts was adopted. This document has become the common standard of rights for all people that must be respected by every nation. Although a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Vietnamese government not only disrespects the human rights as described in the Universal Declaration of Human RIghts, but it has also increased its oppression on the people, making the situation more dire than ever before.

- The number of arbitrary arrest and detention continue to increase. Some specific cases involve human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Thu Ha, land rights activist Can Thi Theu, blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, Dr. Ho Hai, Luu Van Vinh, Nguyen Van Duc Do and Hoang Van Giang.

- Treatment of prisoners of conscience has become more brutal and inhumane as in the cases of Ho Duc Hoa, Tran Thi Thuy, Dang Xuan Dieu, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Dinh Nguyen Kha, Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung.

- Arbitrarily use house arrest to limit freedom of movement and prevent former prisoners of conscience from returning to a normal way of life has caused unreasonable difficulties for activists.

- Religious oppression continues to intensify. Recent incidences include the destruction of Lien Tri Pagoda and Thien An monastery, the dismantling of Tuy An Cao Dai Temple in Phu Yen Province, the restriction of faith-based group activities , and the barrier of movement for many monks and worshippers that belong to the Cao Dai, Hoa Hao, Protestant, Catholic and Buddhist faiths.

- Intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders through actions like destroying their property and obstructing their ability to organize activities. For activists still in school, the Vietnamese government creates pressure that prevent them from studying and taking exams. Cases of this form of oppression include Pastor Nguyen Trung Ton, Rev. Phan Van Loi, Tran Duc Thach, Nguyen Van Trang and Truong Minh Tam.

- Disciplinary action on journalists who have reported the truth or expressed their opinions as in the cases of journalists Phung Hieu, Mai Phan Loi and Quang The.

On this 68th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human RIghts, we call on the international community to firmly denounce the Vietnamese government’s on going repression of human rights.

We urgently call on the United Nations Human Rights Council, all international human rights organisations and democratic governments to intervene and pressure the Vietnamese authorities to:

· Unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience

· Remove sentences that force former prisoners of conscience to still be under house arrest after being released from prison.

· Return property and the religious right to practice for all faith-based groups.

· Immediately stop all acts of intimidation and harassment towards human rights activists.

· Respect and protect all fundamental rights including freedom of press, freedom of expression, and immediately cease physical attacks, arbitrary arrests and threats against journalists and citizens using their right to express their opinion as protected by law.

The Vietnamese people must have the right to live in their own country with all their human rights protected as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

December 10, 2016

Jointly signed

1. Civil Society Forum- represented by Nguyen Quang A.

2. Viet Tan- represented by Duy Hoang.

3. Vietnam-US Lutheran Alliance Church- represented by Pastor Nguyen Hoang Hoa

4. Hoa Hao Purist Buddhist Church- represented by Le Quang Hien and Le Van Soc.

5. Vietnamese Political & Religious Prisoners Friendship Association- represented by Nguyen Bac Truyen.

6. Brotherhood for Democracy- represented by Nguyen Trung Ton.

7. Association to Protect Freedom of Religion- represented by Ha Thi Van.

8. Association of Bau Bi Tuong Than- represented by Nguyen Le Hung.

9. Association of Former Catholic Prisoners of Conscience- represented by Nguyen Van Oai.

10. Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience- represented by Dr. Nguyen Dan Que and Rev. Nguyen Van Loi.

11. Association of Mutual Compassion- represented by Rev. Pham Ngoc Thach.

12. Association to Support Victims of Torture- represented by Dr. Dinh Duc Long.

13. Cao Dai Church, Human Livelihood Sect- represented by Mr. Hua Phi, Mr.Nguyen Kim Lan, Mrs. Nguyen Bach Phung

14. Bloc 8406- represented by Do Nam Hai and Nguyen Xuan Nghia.

15. Vietnamese Bloggers’ Network- represented by Pham Thanh Nghien.

16. Nguyen Kim Dien Priests group- represented by Rev. Nguyen Huu Giai and Rev. Nguyen Van Ly.

17. Vietnamese Labour- represented by Do Thi Minh Hanh.

18. Oppressed Petitioners’ Solidarity Movement- represented by Tran Ngoc Anh.

19. Saigon Newspaper- represented by Rev. Le Ngoc Thanh.

20. Youth of Compassion- represented by Thai Van Dung.

21. For the Future of Vietnam- represented by Tran Minh Nhat.

Individual signatories:

1. Bui Hien- poet, Canada.

2. Bui Tuan Duong- Quang Khe- Dak Glong-Dak Nong.

3. Chu Anh Tuan- Vung Tau.

4. Duong Sanh- former teacher, Van Ninh, Khanh Hoa.

5. Hoang Dung- Associate Professor PhD., Saigon.

6. Huynh Quoc Huy- independent reporter (reporter name Nam Viet), Saigon.

7. Kha Luong Ngai- journalist and member of Friends of Le Hieu Dang Assoc., Saigon.

8. Lai Thi Anh Hong- artist, Saigon.

9. Le Minh- Xuan Loc, Dong Nai.

10. Lu Van Bay- former prisoner of conscience.

11. Ngo Kim Hoa (Suong Quynh)- independent journalist, Saigon.

12. Ngo Thi Kim Cuc- writer and journalist, Saigon.

13. Nguyen Manh Hung- Protestant Pastor, Saigon.

14. Nguyen Nu Phuong Dung- activist, Saigon.

15. Nguyen Thuy Hanh- human rights activist, Hanoi.

16. Nguyen Trang Nhung- human rights activist, Hanoi.

17. Nguyen Tuong Thuy- independent journalist, Hanoi.

18. Hoang Hung- poet and former prisoner of conscience, Saigon.

19. Phan Dac Lu- Thu Duc, Saigon.

20. Phan Hai Yen- Saigon.

21. Tong Van Cong- journalist.

22. Tran Duc Thach- poet and former prisoner of conscience, Nghe An.

23. Tran Minh Quoc- retired teacher.

24. Truong Long Dien- retired civil servant, Long Xuyen, An Giang.

25. Uong Dinh Duc- Saigon.

26. Vo Van Tao- journalist, Nha Trang.

27. Vu The Khoi- honourable teacher.


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