March 27, 2019
Defend the defenders of peoples' rights. Secure, encrypted email: firstname.lastname@example.org (end-to-end encryption)
March 27, 2019
December 22, 2018
(1) In the last years, the crackdown on freedom of expression has intensified. Reports indicate that in 2017, Viet Nam authorities have detained or exiled many peaceful activists and bloggers. Human rights lawyers who work on sensitive cases frequently face reprisals either in relation to their own human rights advocacy or their legal representation of people seen as critical of the Government. They are subjected to, amongst other things, threats, harassment and intimidation. Some lawyers have been the victim of physical attacks in connection to their legitimate advocacy. See Joint submission (JI) L4L & LRWC, par.10
A number of lawyers in Viet Nam have even been subjected to arrests and prosecution in connection to their professional activities or in relation to their human rights advocacy. See JI L4L & LRWC, par.11
(2) Governments must protect lawyers from unfair or arbitrary disciplinary proceedings. Disciplinary action against lawyers must be based solely on a code of professional conduct consistent with recognized ethical and professional standards including the Basic Principles and determined by an independent tribunal after a fair hearing conducted in accordance with international due process requirements. Before the UPR review of Viet Nam in 2014, several leading human rights lawyers had been disbarred, including lawyers Le Cong Dinh, Nguyen Van Dai, and Le Quoc Quan. More recently, other lawyers have been disbarred or are facing disbarment or other disciplinary actions on improper grounds. See JI L4L & LRWC, par.12
July 30, 2018
June 10, 2018
90 NGOs including LRWC call on the EU to reject the proposed free trade agreement until Viet Nam releases all political prisoner, including Nguyen Van Dai, and ensures rights to expression and association.
June 6, 2018
We, the undersigned organizations, urge European Union member countries to reject the pending free trade agreement with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
After the European Parliament’s emergency resolution on Vietnam last December, it would be a disgrace if European countries were to ratify free trade with a country that is one of the world’s worst enemies of freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and freedom of association. Over the last year, the Vietnamese authorities have arbitrarily detained scores of peaceful activists and bloggers. Just in April 2018, the Vietnamese authorities conducted five political trials and sentenced ten courageous human rights defenders and bloggers to harsh prison sentences of up to 15 years in prison for peacefully exercising rights to freedom of expression and association. In prison, torture and mistreatment are routinely used to extract confessions and force detainees to plead guilty. It is not unusual for prison officials to deny detained activists appropriate medical treatment.
The European External Action Service condemned the 5 April 2018 conviction and sentencing of Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thu Ha, Pham Van Troi, Nguyen Trung Ton, Nguyen Bac Truyen and Truong Minh Duc, stating 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.”
June 7, 2018
Prominent Vietnamese rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and a fellow member of the Brotherhood for Democracy were released from prison late on Thursday and put on a plane from Hanoi to Germany, members of his banned group and an exile pro-democracy group said.
The release and exile of Dai and colleague Le Thu Ha came about two months after they and four other activists were given lengthy jail sentences for conducting activities aimed at overthrowing the state under Article 79 of Vietnam’s Penal Code.
Dai was sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years of house arrest on April 5, while Ha was sentenced to nine years imprisonment.
According to Viet Tan, an unsanctioned Vietnamese pro-democracy party, Dai, Ha, and Dai’s wife, Vu Minh Khanh, will arrive in Frankfurt Friday morning on a Vietnam Airlines flight from Hanoi.
There was no immediate confirmation of the release from the Vietnamese government or state media, but fellow members of the Brotherhood for Democracy in Vietnam confirmed to RFA’s Vietnamese service that the pair were released and exiled.
“We are heartened that Nguyen Van Dai does not have to endure more years of prison,” said Duy Hoang, spokesperson for Viet Tan.
“However his and other members of the (Brotherhood for Democracy’s) imprisonment by the Vietnamese authorities was arbitrary and illegal in the first place. Nguyen Van Dai should be able to return to Vietnam as a free person at the time of his choosing,” added Hoang.
May 24, 2018
Vietnamese human rights lawyer Vo An Don has been stripped of his license to practice law in a ruling received on Thursday from the national Vietnam Bar Association, Don told RFA’s Vietnamese Service today.
The decision upheld a ruling made last year by the local Phu Yen Lawyers’ Association striking his name from its lists for posting a comment on his Facebook page saying lawyers in Vietnam regularly use payoffs to win cases for their clients.
Don, a lawyer based in Vietnam’s coastal Phu Yen province, has defended defendants in high-profile cases including blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known as Mother Mushroom, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in June 2017 for “spreading propaganda against the state.”
Speaking to RFA, Don said that the decision made against him at the national level followed moves made locally last year.
“On November 26, the Phu Yen Lawyers’ Association issued the decision to punish me by removing my name from the association,” Don said.
“I filed a complaint with the Vietnam Bar Association, and after six months I got a response from them that upheld the Phu Yen Lawyers’ Association decision and said that the Ministry of Justice would revoke my license.”
Though he is now allowed to lodge an appeal with the Ministry of Justice in his case, Don said he feels nothing would result from this as he believes orders are coming down “from the top” to punish him for his work.
Another concern is that he can no longer open a law office, Don said.
April 5, 2018
Nguyen Van Dai, the Vietnamese human rights lawyer and activist, has been jailed for 15 years, according to his wife, along with five other activists who have been given prison terms of 7-12 years.
Dai, 48, was charged on Thursday in a court in Hanoi with activities “aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration” at a tightly guarded trial in the communist country.
“I’m very disappointed with the trial and strongly protest it,” Vu Minh Khanh, Dai’s wife, said.
“He is innocent and he pleaded innocent at the trial. He will continue to fight and will appeal the verdict”.
But Le Thi Thu Hang, a foreign ministry spokesperson, said that “in Vietnam, there is no such thing as a ‘prisoner of conscience’, and there’s no such thing as people being arrested for ‘freely expressing opinion'”.