Cosunam and Viet Tan co-host press conference ahead of UN review of Vietnam’s human rights record

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May 5, 2009

Ahead of Vietnam’s date of review of its human rights record on May 8, 2009, leaders of Viet Tan and Cosunam will co-host a press conference on May 6 at the headquarters of Parti Radical Genevois (Geneva Radical Party) to raise human rights concerns and call for political freedom in Vietnam.

Despite a constitution that guarantees its citizens “equal political, economic, cultural and social rights,” Vietnam’s authoritarian one-party state maintains an unsatisfactory human rights record that falls short of compliance with the UN human rights framework. The Hanoi government consistently uses extensive legislative provisions to curtail political opposition movements, crackdown on dissent, and limit its citizens’ freedoms of speech, religion, assembly and movement:

• A restrictive legal framework and vaguely defined criminal code enables the government to detain and convict, sometimes without trial, citizens deemed a “national security risk” under house arrest, rehabilitation camps, or mental hospitals. Hundreds of religious and political prisoners remain in harsh prison conditions.

• Efforts to question policies regarding human rights, religious freedoms, or matters of land dispute are dealt with a brutal hand. Dissent is muzzled and journalists are frequently punished for criticizing its leaders, as there is no independent media in Vietnam.

• The Party disregards the freedom of association by persisting in its efforts to repress religious freedom. Peaceful gatherings by farmers and labor rights activist to advocate for land reparations and independent trade unions have been met with a harsh crackdown and widespread imprisonment.

The press conference will examine the need for human rights, political freedom, and government accountability.

Who: Representatives of COSUNAM and VIET TAN

When: Wednesday, May 6, 2009, 10:30 A.M.

Where: Parti Radical Genevois Headquarters, Boulevard Jaques-Dalcroze 13, 1205 Genève

A mechanism of the UN, the UPR is a chance to systemically review the human rights records of all UN Member States. The upcoming 5th Session, scheduled to run between May 5 – 15, will allow 10 states to respond to questions, concerns, and recommendations put forth by other UN Member States.

Contact: Dr Trang Nguyen
Phone number : +41 78 826 0758

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