A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson on the case of Vietnamese citizen Trinh Xuan Thanh

22.09.2017 - Press release

A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (22 September) in response to new developments in the case of Vietnamese citizen Trinh Xuan Thanh, who was abducted from Berlin:

Immediately after the case came to light, we made it clear that the abduction on German territory was completely unacceptable. There is clear evidence for this abduction, which will be made available to the public in due course. The Federal Public Prosecutor General took over the investigation on 10 August. This investigation has not yet been concluded.

The abduction involves a blatant violation of German and international law. Under no circumstances will we tolerate this.

In declaring the head of intelligence at the Vietnamese Embassy persona non grata, we have already taken the first clear steps. We have conveyed our demands unambiguously to the Vietnamese Government several times and made clear that we reserve the right to take further measures.

To date, the Vietnamese Government has not complied with our demands that it make an apology and provide an assurance that the law will not be violated again in this way in the future. Nor has Viet Nam pledged to hold the responsible parties to account.

We have made demands regarding Trinh Xuan Thanh, including that his trial be conducted in accordance with the rule of law and open to international observers.

As Viet Nam has not met any of our demands in any way or recognised the violation of the law and the breach of trust as such so far, we are obliged to take further steps. We therefore informed the Vietnamese side in a meeting with the Vietnamese Ambassador at the Federal Foreign Office yesterday that the strategic partnership with Viet Nam is being temporarily suspended. We have also declared a further employee of the Vietnamese Embassy persona non grata. He now has four weeks to leave Germany with his family.

We expect Viet Nam to meet our demands.

The Vietnamese side knows how it can restore bilateral relations and rectify the violation of the law and breach of trust.

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