World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience must be released

Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience must be released immediately

Amnesty International today wrote to the Vietnamese government expressing its concerns about prisoners of conscience Nguyen Thi Hoa, Nguyen Vu Viet and Nguyen Truc Cuong. The three are the nephews and niece of imprisoned Catholic priest and prisoner of conscience, Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly.

Nguyen Thi Hoa and her brothers will be put on trial for infringing upon "the interests of the State" at Ho Chi Minh City People's Court at 7.30 am on 10 September 2003.

The two brothers have been held for over two years in pre-trial detention. Their sister Nguyen Thi Hoa, a single mother with four children, has been held under house arrest.

It is Amnesty International's understanding that the original charge sheet prepared by the authorities for their prosecution outlining a charge of 'espionage' against the three has been superseded by new charges. Nguyen Thi Hoa and her two brothers are now accused of 'abusing democratic freedoms to infringe upon the interests of the State, the legitimate rights and interests of organizations and/or citizens' as outlined in Article 258 (2) of theCriminal Code. This may carry a prison term of between two and seven years.

Amnesty International welcomes the fact that the most serious charges of "espionage" have been dropped. The organization is nevertheless concerned that the three still face a long prison term for their peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression. Their exercise of this right has been criminalized by the misuse of vaguely-worded provisions of the Vietnamese Criminal Code.

Amnesty International calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Nguyen Thi Hoa, Nguyen Vu Viet and Nguyen Truc Cuong. The organization believes that the case against the three is directly related to official anger resulting from their uncle's activities, whose prison term, in turn, was recently reduced from 15 to 10 years.

Amnesty International has stated that in the unfortunate event they are not released immediately and unconditionally, the organization is requesting clarification of the case against the three siblings. The organization has also urged the authorities to ensure that any resulting trial is held in public; that the three have access to defence counsel; and that their trial adheres to international standards of fair trial which Viet Nam is bound by international treaty to respect.

View all documents on Viet Nam

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news