Cablegate: Gvn Reacts to Human Rights Report
DE RUEHHI #0303 0741011
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141011Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7411
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 4446
RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
UNCLAS HANOI 000303
STATE FOR EAP/MLS, AND DRL/AWH
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KIRF PHUM PREL PGOV VM
SUBJECT: GVN REACTS TO HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
1. (SBU) Summary: Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Dung delivered
the GVN's reaction to the 2007 Human Rights Report on March 13,
calling it "regrettable" that the report is based on "false and
prejudiced" information but adding that it is "normal" that the USG
and GVN have differences on human rights issues. Dung's remarks
have been carried by Vietnamese media without additional commentary
so far. Full text of Dung's remarks is in para 2. Initial press
commentary has so far stuck to the MFA statement and not extended to
editorial comment as was the case last year. End summary.
2. (U) Begin text of Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Le Dung's
It is regrettable that the US Department State's 2007 Human Rights
Report still does not give objective observations on the real
situation in Vietnam and is based on false and prejudiced
During the past years, Vietnam has made great achievements in
ensuring and developing its citizens' freedom in all fields,
including freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom of
information. This can be clearly seen through the strong and
diversified development of means of communication, especially the
Internet. These achievements have been recognized and highly
appreciated by international community.
The State of Vietnam always respects citizens' rights to freedom and
democracy. However, like in other countries, it is unacceptable if
these rights are exploited to violate the law. There is no
political repression in Vietnam. Nobody in Vietnam has been
arrested for reasons relating to political views or religion; only
those who violate the laws are handled in accordance with the laws.
It is normal that Vietnam and the U.S. have differences in human
rights issues. We believe that increased exchange and dialogue on
the basis of equality and non-interference in each other's internal
affairs will help strengthen mutual understanding between Vietnam
and the U.S. in this regard, contributing to promote the development
of bilateral relationship in accordance with the Vietnam-U.S. Joint
Statements in May 2005 and November 2006 by the two countries'
End text of remarks.
3. (SBU) Dung's remarks were carried in full by Vietnam News Agency
and picked up by major dailies. Vietnam Television (VTV) broadcast
the statement during its March 13 11:00 p.m. news program this year,
as opposed to previous years when VTV has carried the statement on
its more popular 7 p.m. prime time news program. To date, papers
and online news outlets have carried the statement without
additional commentary in comparison to last year and previously when
critical editorials and stories have run with the statement. It is
possible we will see these negative opinion pieces and articles in
coming days and we will continue to monitor any additional coverage.
4. (SBU) Comment: Dung's remarks are similar to those in response to
last year's report, when he called it "regrettable" with "biased"
remarks. So far we have not seen anything like last year's
editorial in the major daily Nhan Dan which called the 2006 report
"lying and wrongful," a report that "violates the UN Charter and
interferes with other countries' sovereignty," and "rudely
interferes and tarnishes our country's image."