Australia’s Members of Parliament sign letter regarding dire human rights situation in Vietnam

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More than 60 Members of Australian Parliament have signed a letter to the Australian Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam regarding the dire human rights situation in Vietnam. Initiated by the Hon. Tim Wilson MP and the Hon. Chris Hayes MP and signed by Labor, Liberal, Nationals, Greens and Independent parties of the House of Representatives urged the Vietnamese government to honour its commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

26 October 2017

His Excellency Ngo Huong Nam
Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Australia

PO Box 98
Mawson ACT 2607

Your Excellency

We express our deep concern regarding Vietnam’s human rights defenders, bloggers and social activists who have been arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison sentences for exercising their right to free expression.

This year alone, there have been more than 20 activists who have been arrested, exiled or issued arrest warrants in one of the largest crackdowns to date. Many of these activists have been charged under vague laws quoting national security such as “attempting to overthrow the state” or “conducting propaganda against the state”.

Many of these human rights defenders remain detained without trial. Prominent Vietnamese human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai was arrested in December 2015 with no trial date set. It is worrying that five of his colleagues; Pham Van Troi, Truong Minh Duc, Nguyen Bac Truyen, Nguyen Trung Truc and Pastor Nguyen Trung Ton were detained in July, all accused of “attempting to overthrow the state”. Le Dinh Luong, an organiser within the Catholic community who spoke up for affected fishermen of the Formosa toxic chemical spill, was also detained within the same week.

Those who have been trialled this year have been sentenced to long prison terms of up to ten years. Bloggers Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, Tran Thi Nga and Nguyen Van Oai were sentenced in one-day trials for discussing social injustices affecting those around them.

Earlier this year, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted that there have been several cases brought before the Working Group in recent years and recognised that the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of persons in Vietnam is a systematic and widespread problem.

We urge the Vietnamese government to honour its commitments under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by immediately and unconditionally releasing human rights defenders and citizen journalists mentioned above as well as: Can Thi Theu, Ho Duc Hoa, Nguyen Dang Minh Minh, Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, Nguyen Van Hoa, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc and Tran Thi Thuy.

As Vietnam’s economy becomes more integrated within the international community, we believe that sustainable economic and social development can only be achieved by respecting freedoms and protecting those defending basic civil rights.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Wilson MP
Member for Goldstein
Chris Hayes MP
Member for Fowler


  1. Sharon Bird, Cunningham
  2. Justine Elliot, Richmond
  3. Michael Danby, Melbourne Ports
  4. Anthony Byrne, Holt
  5. Peter Khalil, Wills
  6. Rob Mitchell, McEwen
  7. Anne Aly, Cowan
  8. Tim Watts, Gellibrand
  9. David Feeney, Batman
  10. Matt Heogh, Burt
  11. Brian Mitchell, Lyons
  12. Joanne Ryan, Lalor
  13. Julian Hill, Bruce
  14. Adam Bandt, Melbourne
  15. Andrew Wilkie, Denison
  16. Stephen Jones, Whitlam
  17. Amanda Rishworth, Kingston
  18. Andrew Leigh, Fenner
  19. Claire O’Neil, Hotham
  20. Ed Husic, Chifley
  21. Shayne Neumann, Blair
  22. Catherine King, Ballarat
  23. Tanya Plibersek, Sydney
  24. Maria Vamvakinou, Calwell
  25. Ross Hart, Bass
  26. Anne Stanley, Werriwa
  27. Mike Freelander, Macarthur
  28. Josh Wilson, Fremantle
  29. Milton Dick, Oxley
  30. Meryl Swanson, Paterson
  31. Sharon Claydon, Newcastle
  32. Madeleine King, Brand
  33. Andrew Giles, Scullin
  34. Tony Zappia, Makin
  35. Mike Kelly, Eden Monaro
  36. Pat Conroy, Shortland
  37. Matt Thistlethwaite, Kingsford Smith
  38. Julie Owens, Parramatta
  39. Gai Brodtmann, Canberra
  40. Warren Snowdon, Lingiari
  41. Lisa Chesters, Bendigo
  42. Terri Butler, Griffith
  43. Steve Georganas, Hindmarsh
  44. Cathy O’Toole, Herbert
  45. Susan Templeman, Macquarie
  46. Emma McBride, Dobell
  47. Luke Gosling, Solomon
  48. Jason Falinski, Mackellar
  49. Steve Irons, Swan
  50. Craig Kelly, Hughes
  51. John McVeigh, Groom
  52. Trent Zimmerman, North Sydney
  53. Ian Goodenough, Moore
  54. John Alexander, Bennelong
  55. Ben Morton, Tangney
  56. Julian Leeser, Berowra
  57. George Christensen, Dawson
  58. Llew O’Brien, Wide Bay
  59. Kevin Hogan, Page
  60. Mark Coulton, Parkes
  61. Ken O’Dowd, Flynn
  62. David Littleproud, Maranoa
  63. Andrew Gee, Calare
  64. Michelle Landry, Capricornia
  65. Damian Drum, Murray
  66. Andrew Hastie, Canning
PDF - 1.7 Mb
Australian MPs’ letter (pdf)
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