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Statement by Human Rights Commissioner Strässer on the release of Vietnamese human rights defender Le Quoc Quan

29.06.2015 - Press release

On 29 June, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Christoph Strässer, issued the following statement on the release of the Vietnamese human rights defender Le Quoc Quan:

I very much welcome the fact that the Vietnamese human rights defender and lawyer Le Quoc Quan was released last Saturday after having served his prison sentence. Early in June I was able to visit him in prison and experienced him as an unbroken man and lively interlocutor. Following his release, Le Quoc Quan now intends to resume his work. I therefore call on the Vietnamese authorities to renew his lawyer’s license and enable him to work again.

Furthermore I urge the Vietnamese Government to release all people imprisoned for political reasons without delay.

Background information

Le Quoc Quan can be regarded as the most prominent human rights defender in Viet Nam today. He campaigns for civil liberties, pluralism and freedom of religion. In Hanoi in October 2013, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison for tax evasion. That same year the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention criticised the sentence against the then 41‑year‑old lawyer, practicing Catholic and well-known blogger on grounds of serious procedural errors.

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