In a statement by the Spokesperson on verdicts against human rights defenders, the European Union calls for the release of Vietnamese journalist and blogger Ms. Pham Doan Trang, who has been sentenced to nine years of prison at the Hanoi’s People Court on 14 December on the vague charge of alleged “anti-state propaganda”.
The actions taken against Ms. Pham Doan Trang on the basis of her extensive and peaceful journalistic work defending civil and political rights are in violation of Vietnam’s international human rights obligations, notably the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam has been a party since 1982, the statement says.
Three other human rights advocates have been sentenced on similar grounds. On 15 December, Mr. Trinh Ba Phuong and Ms. Nguyen Thi Tam were sentenced to ten and six years’ imprisonment respectively, for investigating, documenting, and bringing public attention to alleged human rights violations. On 16 December, human rights defender Mr. Do Nam Trung was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.
The European Union is strongly committed to the protection of human rights defenders in Vietnam and across the world. The numerous arbitrary arrests of peaceful protesters and journalists are a direct contradiction to international human rights law. The European Union calls on the Vietnamese authorities to release all human rights defenders arbitrarily detained and to guarantee the right to a fair trial for all individuals. The European Union will continue to monitor the human rights situation in Vietnam, and work with the authorities towards the improvement of the human rights situation in the country, the statement concluded.