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Cablegate: Vietnam: Trafficking in Persons Legal Environment

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HANOI 003018

SIPDIS
UNCLASSIFIED PTQ1725

SIPDIS

PAGE 01 HANOI 03018 01 OF 03 190856Z
ACTION INL-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AIT-03 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CA-01
CG-00 CIAE-00 CTME-00 DEAE-00 USNW-00 DINT-00 DOEE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00 ED-01 EUR-00 FBIE-00
UTED-00 VC-00 HHS-01 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 MOFM-05 MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00
VO-01 EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /022W
------------------1A1833 190857Z /38
R 190815Z DEC 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8404
INFO AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMCONSUL HONG KONG
USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
AIT TAIPEI 0716
SECDEF WASHDC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HANOI 003018

SIPDIS

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 03018 01 OF 03 190856Z
DEPT FOR G/TIP, EAP/BCLTV, EAP/RSP, AND DRL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KWMN PREL PREF EAID ELAB SMIG SOCI VM TIP
SUBJECT: VIETNAM: TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS LEGAL ENVIRONMENT

1. (U) SUMMARY: AT A NATIONAL SEMINAR ON TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS (TIP), GVN AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION
PARTICIPANTS CONCLUDED THAT TIP IN VIETNAM AND THE REGION
APPEARS ON THE INCREASE, ALTHOUGH LITTLE RELIABLE DATA IS
AVAILABLE. SRV LAW GENERALLY CONFORMS TO THE UN PROTOCOL TO
PREVENT, SUPPRESS, AND PUNISH TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS -
ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN. THERE ARE SOME KEY
DIFFERENCES: SRV LAW IN SOME CASES DEFINES CHILDREN AS 16
AND UNDER RATHER THAN 18 AND UNDER, AND IT DOES NOT
CURRENTLY INCLUDE PROVISIONS FOR THE PROTECTION OF VICTIMS,
WITNESSES, OR MALES. PARTICIPANTS INCONCLUSIVELY DEBATED
MOVING THE LOCUS OF THE TIP FIGHT FROM ITS CURRENT DIVISION
OF LABOR BETWEEN THE MINISTRY OF LABOR, INVALIDS, AND SOCIAL
AFFAIRS (MOLISA) AND THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY (MPS).
THE BOTTOM LINE REMAINS THAT THE GVN AS A WHOLE HAS
DEMONSTRATED A WELCOME COMMITMENT AND WILLINGNESS TO ADDRESS
TIP, AND HAS BEEN OPEN TO MANY FORMS OF HELP ON THE ISSUE.
END SUMMARY.

---------------------------------
SEMINAR OVERVIEW AND PARTICIPANTS
---------------------------------

2. (U) THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE (MOJ) AND UNICEF SPONSORED
A "NATIONAL SEMINAR ON INTERNATIONAL LAW ON TRAFFICKING OF
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 03018 01 OF 03 190856Z
WOMEN AND CHILDREN" IN HANOI ON DECEMBER 6. THE SEMINAR
REVIEWED THE CURRENT STATUS OF TIP, SRV LAWS RELATING TO
TRAFFICKING, INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS, AND INTERNATIONAL
EFFORTS AGAINST TIP, AND DISCUSSED WHAT WOULD NEED TO BE
DONE ADDITIONALLY AND HOW THE SRV WOULD BENEFIT FROM SIGNING
AND IMPLEMENTING THE UN PROTOCOL TO PREVENT, SUPPRESS, AND
PUNISH TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - ESPECIALLY WOMEN AND
CHILDREN. SPEAKERS INCLUDED VICE MINISTER OF JUSTICE HA
HUNG CUONG, UNICEF COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE ANTHONY BLOOMBERG,
DEPUTY OFFICE DIRECTORS FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
(MFA), MOJ, AND MOLISA, AND AN EXPERT FROM UNICEF.
PARTICIPANTS FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SOCIAL AFFAIRS
COMMITTEE, THE SUPREME PEOPLE'S COURT, THE SUPREME PEOPLE'S
PROCURACY, AND OXFAM QUEBEC POSED QUESTIONS AT VARIOUS
POINTS. REPRESENTATIVES OF A NUMBER OF OTHER GVN
MINISTRIES, SEVERAL INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS, AND AT
LEAST TEN EMBASSIES BROUGHT TOTAL ATTENDANCE TO ALMOST 50.

--------------------------------
UPDATE ON TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS
--------------------------------

3. (U) A NUMBER OF SPEAKERS INDICATED THAT THE VOLUME OF
TIP IN VIETNAM AND THE MEKONG SUB-REGION IS INCREASING,
ALTHOUGH NO ONE OFFERED CONCRETE NUMBERS ON THE SIZE OF THE
INCREASE. MFA INTERNATIONAL LAWS AND TREATIES DEPARTMENT
DEPUTY DIRECTOR NGUYEN TRUONG GIANG CITED LAW ENFORCEMENT
FIGURES FOR THE PERIOD 1991 TO 1999 SHOWING THAT POLICE
DISCOVERED 2015 TIP CASES AND ARRESTED 3376 SUSPECTS,
LEADING TO 2895 PROSECUTIONS. ABOUT 60 PERCENT OF CONVICTED
TRAFFICKERS WERE WOMEN, MOST OF THEM FORMER TRAFFICKING
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 03018 01 OF 03 190856Z
VICTIMS THEMSELVES. THE POLICE ESTIMATE THAT 55.5 PERCENT
OF TIP IN VIETNAM IS INTERNATIONAL, WHILE 44.5 PERCENT IS
DOMESTIC. A MOLISA OFFICIAL SAID THAT ABOUT 10,000 WOMEN
TRAFFICKING VICTIMS HAVE RETURNED TO VIETNAM IN RECENT
YEARS. MR. TAI FROM THE PROCURACY NOTED THAT "HUNDREDS" OF
PEOPLE ARE TRIED FOR TRAFFICKING EVERY YEAR IN VIETNAM.

4. (U) PARTICIPANTS DISCUSSED MAJOR EXTERNAL CHALLENGES TO
REDUCING TRAFFICKING. ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT, CITED BY
UNICEF'S BLOOMBERG AND MOLISA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL EVILS
PREVENTION DEPUTY DIRECTOR NGUYEN VAN MINH, IS THE STRONG
DEMOGRAPHIC PULL FACTOR CREATED BY CHINA'S WEALTHIER AND
DISPROPORTIONATELY MALE POPULATION. MINH ALSO ESTIMATED
THAT ABOUT TEN PERCENT OF VIETNAMESE BRIDES GOING TO TAIWAN
ACTUALLY ENDED UP AS TRAFFICKING VICTIMS, WITH MOST OF THESE
FORCED INTO PROSTITUTION. HE DESCRIBED THIS AS "AN ALARMING
BILATERAL ISSUE BETWEEN TAIWAN AND VIETNAM." ANOTHER
CHALLENGE UNICEF AND MOJ STAFF CITED IS A GROWING ORGANIZED
CRIME INVOLVEMENT IN TIP, LARGELY BECAUSE IT IS "MORE
PROFITABLE THAN DRUG TRAFFICKING." SOME CRIMINAL RINGS
APPEAR TO BE INVOLVED IN BOTH KINDS OF TRAFFICKING.

------------------
LAWS AND PROTOCOLS
------------------

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ1726

PAGE 01 HANOI 03018 02 OF 03 190857Z
ACTION INL-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AIT-03 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CA-01
CG-00 CIAE-00 CTME-00 DEAE-00 USNW-00 DINT-00 DOEE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00 ED-01 EUR-00 FBIE-00
UTED-00 VC-00 HHS-01 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 MOFM-05 MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00
VO-01 EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /022W
------------------1A183F 190857Z /38
R 190815Z DEC 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8405
INFO AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMCONSUL HONG KONG
USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
AIT TAIPEI 0717
SECDEF WASHDC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 02 OF 03 HANOI 003018

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PAGE 02 HANOI 03018 02 OF 03 190857Z
DEPT FOR G/TIP, EAP/BCLTV, EAP/RSP, AND DRL

5. (U) UNICEF RIGHTS PROMOTION PROJECT OFFICER VU NGOC
BINH PROVIDED AN EXPLANATION OF INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS
IMPINGING ON TIP. MFA INTERNATIONAL LAWS AND TREATIES
DEPARTMENT DEPUTY DIRECTOR GIANG OFFERED A DETAILED
TECHNICAL EXPLANATION OF HIS VIEWS ON THE UN PROTOCOL ON
COMBATING TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS AND ITS RELATION TO SRV
LAWS. GIANG SAID THAT THE PROTOCOL IS "BASICALLY IN LINE
WITH CURRENT POLICY ON PREVENTION AND SUPPRESSION OF CRIMES
AND IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE 1992 CONSTITUTION AND LEGAL
SYSTEM." HE RECOUNTED A LONG LIST OF SRV REGULATORY
MECHANISMS DEALING WITH TIP IN VARIOUS WAYS: ARTICLES 119
AND 120 OF THE CRIMINAL CODE, WHICH OUTLAW TRAFFICKING IN
WOMEN AND CHILDREN; LABOR LAWS IMPINGING ON WORKER TRAINING
AND REGULATING LABOR EXPORT; EDUCATION LAWS RELATING TO
AWARENESS RAISING; GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS AND DECREES ON THE
MEDIA AND ADVERTISING; AND, MORE RECENT DECREES OUTLAWING
PRIVATE MARRIAGE BROKERAGE SERVICES.

6. (U) GIANG NOTED SOME DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN THE PROTOCOL
AND SRV LAW. THE CURRENT PENAL CODE DEFINES TRAFFICKING
MORE BROADLY AND "REQUIRES LESS BURDEN OF PROOF" THAN THE
PROTOCOL. THE PENAL CODE DOES NOT PROVIDE A GENERAL
EXPLICIT DEFINITION OF THE TERM "A CHILD," ALTHOUGH
ELSEWHERE IN SRV LAW "A CHILD" IS DEFINED AS A PERSON UNDER
THE AGE OF 16. (THE PROTOCOL DEFINES "A CHILD" AS A PERSON
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 03018 02 OF 03 190857Z
UNDER THE AGE OF 18.) ACCORDING TO GIANG, VICTIMS ELIGIBLE
FOR REPATRIATION INCLUDE THOSE WHO RETAIN VIETNAMESE
NATIONALITY AND HAVE NO OTHER NATIONALITY, WHILE THE
PROTOCOL REQUIRES STATE PARTIES TO RECEIVE A VICTIM WHO HAS
THE RIGHT OF PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN THAT STATE. VIETNAM HAS
NOT CRIMINALIZED THE TRAFFICKING OF MALES, WHICH THE
PROTOCOL STIPULATES. THE CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE HAS NO
PROVISIONS FOR PROTECTION OF VICTIMS AND WITNESSES OF
TRAFFICKING. FINALLY, ACCORDING TO GIANG, VIETNAM DOES NOT
OBLIGE ALL TRANSPORTATION PROVIDERS TO ASCERTAIN WHETHER ALL
PASSENGERS POSSESS TRAVEL DOCUMENTS, ALTHOUGH THERE IS A
CRIMINAL LIABILITY FOR FAILURE TO REPORT TIP, SHOULD A
PERSON BECOME AWARE OF SUCH.

--------------------
GVN RESPONSES TO TIP
--------------------

7. (U) NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (NA) COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL AFFAIRS
DEPUTY CHAIRMAN LUONG PHAN CU STATED THAT ALTHOUGH TIP "IS A
BURNING ISSUE" IN VIETNAM AND OTHER COUNTRIES, HE WAS
WORRIED ABOUT WHETHER ALL WOULD LIVE UP TO THEIR OBLIGATIONS
UNDER THE TREATY. MORE SPECIFICALLY, MFA'S GIANG EXPRESSED
CONCERN OVER THE PROTOCOL'S PROVISIONS FOR REPATRIATION OF
VICTIMS CONSTITUTING A FINANCIAL AND LOGISTICAL BURDEN THAT
A POOR COUNTRY SUCH AS VIETNAM COULD NOT SHOULDER. UNICEF
REPRESENTATIVE BLOOMBERG CLARIFIED THAT THE PROTOCOL'S
LANGUAGE IS FLEXIBLE REGARDING ITS HUMANITARIAN PROVISIONS
SUCH AS REPATRIATION AND CARRIES THE EXPECTATION THAT NGO'S
AND CIVIL SOCIETY WILL CARRY SOME OF THIS LOAD. LIKEWISE,
AN MFA INTERNATIONAL LAW AND TREATY EXPERT ASSURED MOJ
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PAGE 04 HANOI 03018 02 OF 03 190857Z
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION DEPUTY DIRECTOR VU DUC LONG THAT
IT WOULD NOT BE DIFFICULT TO CLOSE GAPS BETWEEN SRV LAW AND
ARTICLE 10 OF THE UN CONVENTION AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL
ORGANIZED CRIME (TNOC), BECAUSE THE TNOC PERMITS THE
LIABILITY OF LEGAL PERSONS TO BE EITHER CRIMINAL, CIVIL, OR
AND ADMINISTRATIVE.

8. (U) UNICEF'S BINH HIGHLIGHTED APPROACHES SOME OTHER
COUNTRIES TAKE TO TIP, INCLUDING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF
CENTRAL OFFICES FOR MONITORING TIP IN CAMBODIA AND THAILAND.
HE ALSO REFERRED TO THE US TRAFFICKING VICTIMS PROTECTION
ACT OF 2002 AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF G/TIP WITHIN DOS. HE
ALSO BRIEFLY REVIEWED THE DOS REPORT ON TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS AND DESCRIBED THE REPORT'S TIERS AS, "TIER I:
EXEMPLARY EFFORTS; TIER II: MADE EFFORTS BUT NOT ELIMINATED;
TIER III: NOT MUCH EFFORT MADE." VIETNAM'S TIER WAS NOT
DISCUSSED. BINH REMARKED THAT VIETNAM'S CRIMINAL PENALTIES
FOR TIP ARE SEVERE, UP TO LIFE IN PRISON.

9. (U) MOLISA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL EVILS PREVENTION DEPUTY
DIRECTOR NGUYEN VAN MINH CITED A SURVEY CONDUCTED BY THE HO
CHI MINH NATIONAL POLITICAL ACADEMY (THE MAIN CPV TRAINING
INSTITUTION AND THINK TANK) WHICH SHOWED THAT 19-20 PERCENT
OF LEADERS DID NOT KNOW ABOUT TIP "RELEVANT DOCUMENTS" AND
THAT A NUMBER OF PROVINCIAL LEADERS HAVE SAID THAT TIP IS
NOT IMPORTANT NOW BECAUSE THERE ARE "MORE PRESSING ISSUES"

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED PTQ1727

PAGE 01 HANOI 03018 03 OF 03 190857Z
ACTION INL-00

INFO LOG-00 NP-00 AID-00 AIT-03 AMAD-00 ACQ-00 CA-01
CG-00 CIAE-00 CTME-00 DEAE-00 USNW-00 DINT-00 DOEE-00
SRPP-00 DS-00 EAP-00 EB-00 ED-01 EUR-00 FBIE-00
UTED-00 VC-00 HHS-01 H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 IO-00
LAB-01 L-00 VCE-00 MOFM-05 MOF-01 AC-01 NSAE-00
NSCE-00 OIC-02 OMB-01 OPIC-01 PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00
ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 STR-00 TEST-00 TRSE-00 USIE-00
VO-01 EPAE-00 PMB-00 DSCC-00 PRM-00 DRL-02 G-00
NFAT-00 SAS-00 /022W
------------------1A1845 190857Z /38
R 190815Z DEC 02
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8406
INFO AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
AMEMBASSY BEIJING
AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE
AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY
AMCONSUL HONG KONG
USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA
AIT TAIPEI 0718
SECDEF WASHDC
USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 03 OF 03 HANOI 003018

SIPDIS

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 02 HANOI 03018 03 OF 03 190857Z
DEPT FOR G/TIP, EAP/BCLTV, EAP/RSP, AND DRL


SUCH AS POVERTY ELIMINATION. HE STRESSED THAT THE GVN HAS
DEVELOPED A GOOD LEGAL FRAMEWORK TO WHICH LOCAL AUTHORITIES
NEED TO PAY ATTENTION. MINH RECOMMENDED THAT TIP PREVENTION
MUST BE INCLUDED IN SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. MOLISA
PREDICTS THAT, BY 2010, TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN AND CHILDREN
"WILL BE STOPPED."

10. (U) PARTICIPANTS FROM VARIOUS GVN ENTITIES AND UNICEF
DISCUSSED AND DEBATED WAYS TO IMPROVE HOW THE GVN DEALS WITH
TIP. MOLISA AND MPS HAVE HAD THE LEAD ON INTERNATIONAL
TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN AND CHILDREN SINCE 1997'S PRIME
MINISTERIAL DECREE 766. BINH OF UNICEF OPINED THAT
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS ARE CONFUSED ABOUT WITH WHOM
THEY SHOULD WORK -- MPS, MOLISA, THE WOMEN'S UNION, OR SOME
OTHER ENTITY. AN MOJ ADMINISTRATIVE AND CRIMINAL LAW
DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL COMPLAINED THAT MOLISA HAS NOT
COORDINATED WITH MOJ ON THE NATIONAL PLAN OF ACTION ON
TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN AND CHILDREN IT IS DEVELOPING. SHE
ALSO CONTRASTED SEEMINGLY GOOD INTERAGENCY COOPERATION IN
NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES WITH THE SITUATION IN VIETNAM.
FINALLY, SHE QUESTIONED MOLISA'S EMPHASIS ON VICTIMS WHO HAD
BEEN PROSTITUTES, WONDERING WHAT WAS BEING DONE FOR OTHER
TYPES OF VICTIMS.

11. (U) MOJ REPRESENTATIVES SAID THAT THEY ARE TAKING AN
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HANOI 03018 03 OF 03 190857Z
ACTIVE ROLE IN REVIEWING AND DRAFTING LAWS AND, TOGETHER
WITH MFA AND MPS, ARE ACTIVE IN LEGAL COOPERATION WITH
NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES. PARTICIPANTS FROM BOTH THE NATIONAL
ASSEMBLY AND THE SUPREME PEOPLE'S COURT EXPRESSED INTEREST
IN IMPROVING INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION. ACCORDING TO MOJ
DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION LONG, VIETNAM
ENJOYS GOOD COOPERATION AND INFORMATION SHARING WITH
NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES AND HAS LEGAL ASSISTANCE TREATIES WITH
A NUMBER OF THEM, SPECIFICALLY CITING CHINA, LAOS, AND MORE
RECENTLY THE PHILIPPINES. HOWEVER, HE NOTED THAT CAMBODIA
HAS NOT YET RESPONDED TO THE GVN'S REQUEST TO NEGOTIATE A
LEGAL ASSISTANCE TREATY.

12. (U) COMMENT: ALTHOUGH MOLISA HAS TECHNICALLY HAD THE
LEAD FOR NON-LAW ENFORCEMENT RELATED ASPECTS OF TIP,
ESPECIALLY INTERNATIONAL TIP, ITS "SOCIAL EVILS" APPROACH --
WHILE ENERGETIC -- USUALLY CONCEPTUALIZES TIP IN AN
UNREALISTIC WAY. THE FRUSTRATIONS MOJ OFFICIALS VOICED WITH
MOLISA ARE OFTEN HEARD FROM OTHER QUARTERS. MANY WHO TRY TO
HELP TIP VICTIMS AND POTENTIAL VICTIMS WORK AROUND RATHER
THAN WITH MOLISA. THEY OFTEN FAVOR COOPERATING WITH THE
WOMEN'S UNION INSTEAD. EFFORTS TO IMPROVE LAW ENFORCEMENT
MEASURES AGAINST TIP APPEAR MORE STRAIGHTFORWARD AS THE
VIETNAMESE LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY DOES NOT SHAPE ITS
FOCUS EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH MOLISA'S "SOCIAL EVILS" LENS. THE
BOTTOM LINE REMAINS, HOWEVER, THAT THE GVN AS A WHOLE HAS
DEMONSTRATED A WELCOME COMMITMENT AND WILLINGNESS TO ADDRESS
TIP, AND HAS BEEN OPEN TO MANY FORMS OF HELP ON THE ISSUE.
BURGHARDT

UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 04 HANOI 03018 03 OF 03 190857Z

UNCLASSIFIED

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