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

 


Vietnam: Honor Commitments to Human Rights Council

Hanoi Blocks Peaceful Critics from Being Heard in Geneva for UPR

January 31, 2014

(New York) – United Nations (UN) member states should press Vietnam to make verifiable commitments to improve its dismal human rights record at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva on February 5, 2013, Human Rights Watch said today. The UPR is a process all UN member states undergo every four years to assess each country’s human rights situation.

An initial Human Rights Watch assessment of Vietnam’s human rights situation in practice was submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council on June 20, 2013, followed by an update made public in December 2013. Human Rights Watch also released its annual report on Vietnam on January 21, 2014. Each document concludes that the government continues to systematically violate rights in vital areas such as freedom of expression, association, assembly, religion, labor rights, land tenure rights, and the right to a fair trial. Hanoi imprisons critics, such as human rights, land rights, and democracy activists, including members of newly-founded civil society organizations.

“The Vietnamese government has made many human rights promises, but it has delivered very little,” said Juliette de Rivero, Geneva advocacy director. “Now is the time for UN member states to make it clear that the current situation is unacceptable and to insist that Hanoi dramatically improve the way it treats its people.”

Vietnam was elected to the UN Human Rights Council on November 12, 2013, accepting the obligation to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights,” as set forth in United Nations General Assembly Resolution 60/251.

In its campaign for council membership, Vietnam pledged to respect and promote human rights by concrete implementation of the country’s constitution and laws. On November 7, Vietnam signed the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment – but it has not yet ratified it, and has taken few other steps to meet its obligations.

‘Ugly retaliation’ for those exposing abuses

In a blatant effort to quash criticism, Vietnamese citizens calling for reforms have faced ugly retaliation.

Many new groups have emerged to promote human rights and democracy, such as Petition 72, the Social Democratic Party, the Network of Vietnamese Bloggers, the Civil Society Forum, and Vietnamese Women for Human Rights, openly contesting the government’s escalating repression during the past several years. Many have monitored Vietnam’s bid to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council and scrutinized its human rights record through the UPR process.

In early December the government sent security forces to violently break up peaceful gatherings in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to mark Human Rights Day, where activists attempted to distribute copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the convention against torture.

The government followed this up with a series of assaults on bloggers, democracy activists, and land rights protesters, sometimes attacking them in their homes. The government has also prevented members of Vietnamese civil society organizations planning to travel to Geneva for the UPR from leaving the country.

“The UN Human Rights Council should stand with brave activists who are challenging a one-party state to end systematic abuses,” de Rivero said. “Governments should publicly press Vietnam to engage constructively with civil society, fulfill its international human rights obligations, and allow Vietnamese people to peacefully demand fundamental change.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Israel’s Demolition Of Palestinian Homes

Makarim Wibisono, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories. UN Photo/Violaine Martin More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Israeli Settlers Continue Their Attacks against Palestinians
  • Tribespeople Call On WWF To Stop Funding Abuse

    This Baka man from Ndongo village reported that he was severely beaten by anti-poaching squads on two occasions. His neighbors have appealed to WWF to stop funding such abuses. More>>

    Ebola: UN Crisis Response Mission Opens New Office In Mali

    Workers build an enclosure at the Mayagba Ebola community care centre construction site in Bombali District, which is among the areas worst affected by the disease in Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/John James More>>

    ALSO:

    UNESCO Chief Denounces Murder Of Somali Radio Journalist

    Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz More>>

    Palestinian Refugees From Syria Face Worsening Situation

    Palestinian women at a UNRWA distribution centre in the Jaramana refugee camp, Damascus, Syria. Photo: UNRWA/Carole Alfarah More>>

    ALSO:

    Greece Risks Prolonged Social Crisis

    Greece’s severe financial crisis has bred social unrest and intolerance of the nearly one million irregular migrants living in the country (October 2012). Photo: IRIN/Kristy Siegfried More>>

    Madagascar: Warning Of ‘rapid’ Spread Of Plague In Capital

    Ny Hantra Andriatsifasoa survived the bubonic plague after being infected in Madagascar in 2011. Photo: IRIN/Tiana Randriaharimalala More>>

    New Bird Flu Strain In Europe Threatens Poultry Sector

    24 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO ) today warned that a new bird flu strain detected in Europe poses a significant threat to the poultry sector, especially in low-resourced countries situated along ... More>>


    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news