Federal Government Human Rights Commissioner Markus Löning issued the following statement today (29 May) on the arrest of a blogger and freedom of assembly in Viet Nam:
“I condemn the arrest of the Vietnamese blogger Truong Duy Nhat, which is solely due to his critical comments on the government and the Communist Party. This is not an isolated case. Unfortunately, many people are persecuted in Viet Nam for expressing their opinions. I call for the release of all political prisoners and an immediate stop to the proceedings against Truong Duy Nhat.
The situation with regard to freedom of assembly in Viet Nam is also bad. Recently, peaceful ”human rights picnics“ were prevented or broken up violently in several cities in Viet Nam. Prior to that, there was a call on the Internet for the Declaration of Human Rights to be distributed at the picnics and for human rights to be discussed.
Viet Nam acceded to the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is thus obliged to respect freedom of opinion and assembly. It needs to uphold these commitments.”
Human rights activists have been criticizing campaigns against dissidents for months in Viet Nam. The country is on Reporters without Borders’ list of “Internet Enemies” and is in 172nd place out of 179 in that organization’s Press Freedom Index.