The European Union Delegation to Vietnam has issued a statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Vietnam concerning the recent conviction of Mr Le Dinh Luong.
The EU Delegation notes the recent sentencing of Mr Le Dinh Luong under the national security provisions of the Penal Code to 20 years in prison, followed by five years of probation which follows the negative trend of repression against peaceful activists in Vietnam.
“Mr Le Dinh Luong has peacefully advocated for the promotion and protection of human rights as guaranteed by the Vietnamese Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international conventions to which Vietnam has itself signed up to, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As his conviction is in direct breach of these international obligations, the European Union expects the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release Mr Le Dinh Luong as well as all bloggers and human right activists imprisoned for having peacefully expressed their views” states the EU Delegation.
“Moreover, the EU Delegation regrets the decision by the Vietnamese authorities not to allow representatives of the EU Delegation and those of the EU Member States’ embassies to observe the trial as it might raise questions as to the transparency of the process.”
“The European Union will continue to monitor and work with the authorities and all relevant stakeholders to improve the human rights situation in Vietnam.”
Earlier, on 5 April the EU also made a Statement by the Spokesperson on the sentencing of human rights activists in Vietnam.
“The sentencing today of Mr Nguyen Van Dai, Ms Le Thu Ha, Mr Pham Van Troi, Mr Nguyen Trung Ton, Mr Nguyen Bac Truyen and Mr Truong Minh Duc as part of an extensive enforcement of the national security provisions of the Penal Code continues the negative trend of prosecuting and sentencing human rights activists and bloggers in Vietnam.”
“These individuals have peacefully advocated the promotion and protection of human rights as guaranteed by the Vietnamese Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Their sentences are in direct breach of these international obligations, which Vietnam has itself signed up to, and which the European Union expects full respect for,” stated the EU Spokesperson.
The European Union is strongly committed to the protection of human rights defenders across the world.
Another statement came on 6 April, concerning the “sentencing on 5 April of seven human rights activists is in breach of Vietnam’s international obligations. It continues a negative trend of repression against peaceful activists in Vietnam, which the EU is closely monitoring”.
“Vietnam is witnessing a worrying negative trend of prosecuting and sentencing of human rights activists and bloggers, in contravention with the country’s obligations under international law,” said the statement.
The EU stated that the 5 April sentencing of seven activists is part of an exercise in extensive enforcement of the national security provisions of the Penal Code.
The European Union is strongly committed to the protection of human rights defenders in Vietnam and across the world, both politically and practically.
“The EU and Vietnam enjoy strong cooperation across a wide range of areas, concerning political issues, global challenges, trade and development. A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is expected to enter into force in 2018 and boost bilateral trade and investment to benefit the peoples of Europe and Vietnam,” the statement furthermore said.
An annual EU-Vietnam enhanced Human Rights Dialogue is an important avenue for on-going comprehensive discussion of issues of concern to the EU, including the full respect of the fundamental rights to freedom expression, association and peaceful assembly.