- Posted September 11, 2013 by
HUMAN RIGHTS FOR VIETNAM
On July 10, 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Vietnam and she had raised concerns about human rights to Vietnamese Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong; however, Vietnam still continues to violate the people’s basic human rights.
“Bloggers, writers and rights activists who question government policies, expose official corruption, or call for democratic alternatives to one-party rule are routinely subject to police harassment and intrusive surveillance, detained incommunicado for long periods of time without access to legal counsel, and sentenced to increasingly long terms in prison for violating vague national security laws.”
According to The Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, article 19 “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” However, during 2013, the authorities sent at least 35 bloggers and human rights activists to prison.
According to The Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Chapter 5, Article 69 “The citizen shall enjoy freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of the press, the right to be informed, and the right to assemble, form associations and hold demonstrations in accordance with the provisions of the law.” However, bloggers, activists and others are routinely arrested and imprisoned for voicing their opinions. Vietnamese police continue to make frequent use of house arrest, residential surveillance, and administrative detention. Many bloggers and peaceful activists were arrested during the last year
Vietnam does not have the rule of law; it only has one rule and that’s the rule of the Party. The law was created to oppress the people. If anyone goes against it, he/she will automatically be arrested and will receive lengthy prison terms or often being harassed by the authority.
Most of bloggers and activists were charged with spreading anti-government propaganda and attempting to overthrow the government; these were false charges because these bloggers and activists blogged and joined protests against China's territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea, a sensitive issue for the Vietnamese government because of the relationship between them and China. However, it doesn’t matter what or how close the diplomatic relationships between the two countries; one government doesn’t give away its own country to the other one, in which case that’s what the Vietnamese government is doing. The government even sent their officials to school and asked the students not to join in any peaceful demonstrations against China because China was and is the benefactor of Vietnam. This incident angered many Vietnamese inside and outside of Vietnam.
INCREASED FREQUENCY OF POLICE BRUTALITY
According to article 5 “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Police brutality has long been a major issue in Vietnam, and has gone unchallenged due to government suppression. Yet police brutality, including torture and fatal beatings, continues to be reported in all regions of the country. There was no report that the government or its agents committed arbitrary or unlawful killings. In nearly all cases, police alleged the victim committed suicide.
Vietnam also continues to be among the worst violators of religious freedom in the world. According to 2011 Annual Report, ``The Government of Vietnam continues to control religious communities, severely restricts and penalizes independent religious practice and brutally represses individuals and groups viewed as challenging its authority.'' The same is for 2012. Recent event was on June 25, 2013, police surrounded the temple and blocked the Phat Giao Hoa Hao followers from entering the temple. “They were blocked and brutally attacked by a group of about 100 police, security personel, and security guards. The attackers beat clergy Vo Van Thanh Liem and about 20 other followers including women and children. Many female followers collapsed because they were brutally beaten. The attackers also sprayed stinky sewer water to the wounded that were lying on the road. Particularly, clergy Vo Van Thanh Liem was seriously beaten by 20 attackers who beat him on his abdomen, chest and head until he collapsed.” (According to Dan Lam Bao Blog)
The Department's 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report states “not only that Vietnamese women and children are being sexually exploited, but that there are severe labor abuses occurring as well, with the government's complicity. The report acknowledges that state-affiliated labor export companies charge illegal fees for overseas employment, and recruitment companies engage in other trafficking-related violations.” The same is for 2012.
It is clear that the Vietnamese government is failing to afford its citizens fundamental human rights. The Vietnamese inside and outside of Vietnam call all governments to take the necessary steps to hold Vietnamese government accountable and allow its people the rights to freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right of association. They hope that one day human dignity will prevail in Vietnam