Human Rights for Vietnam: Million Hearts, One Voice
* H.E. Laura Dupuy Lasserre, President of the UN Human Rights Council
* H.E. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
* H.E. Barbara Lochbihler, Chair of Subcommittee on Human Rights, European Parliament
* H.E. Bob Carr, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia
* H.E. John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada
* H.E. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, France
* H.E. Guido Westerwelle, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Germany
* H.E. Kōichirō Genba, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Japan
* H.E. Uri Rosenthal, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Netherlands
* H.E. Espen Barth Eide, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway
* H.E. Didier Burkhalter, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
* H.E. William Hague, Foreign Secretary, United Kingdom
* H.E. Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, United States of America
Faced with increasing grassroots demands for political change, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam government is resorting to internet censorship, sham trials and arbitrary detention to enforce its oppressive regime. Additionally, the Vietnamese government apparently believes that by joining the UN Human Rights Council, it can continue to blatantly ignore the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which it is a signatory.
On the 2012 International Human Rights Day, we call on the international community to stand by Vietnams voices of conscience: bloggers Dieu Cay (Nguyen Van Hai), Ta Phong Tan, Paulus Le Son; democracy activists Nguyen Quoc Quan, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc; song writers Viet Khang, Tran Vu Anh Binh; human rights attorney Cu Huy Ha Vu and Reverend Father Nguyen Van Ly. These are but some of the many patriotic Vietnamese who have peacefully expressed their views and pursued nonviolent methods to demand democratic change, religious freedom and social justice.
Many Vietnamese prisoners of conscience face harsh conditions in jail such as forced labor, physical abuse and denial of medical treatment. According to international human rights organizations, two especially appalling cases involve female political prisoners: land rights activist Tran Thi Thuy and labor organizer Do Thi Minh Hanh.
We, the undersigned, appeal to the UN Human Rights Council, the European Union and governments of free countries to:
1. Send Special Rapporteurs and Embassy representatives to investigate human rights violations by the Vietnamese government through the use of arbitrary detention, inhumane prison conditions and lack of legal due process in Vietnam.
2. Demand the Vietnamese government to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and repeal vague national security laws such as Articles 79 and 88 of the Vietnamese Penal Code which are often pretext for arbitrary arrest and detention.
3. Urge the Vietnamese government to immediately release all political prisoners.On behalf of the peaceful activists detained in Vietnam, we ask the international community to hold the Vietnamese authorities responsible and accountable for the well-being and the deprivation of liberty of these brave individuals.
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