Amnesty criticizes Vietnam with regard to HRDs, especially those using the internet

November 11, 2013

Authoritarian Vietnam has stepped up an alarming crackdown on domestic dissent even as it seeks a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, Amnesty International says on 7 November. Vietnam is using a raft of draconian legislation to clamp down on a growing number of citizens who seek to question the party’s stranglehold on power. “Vietnam is fast turning into one of Southeast Asias largest prisons for human rights defenders and other activists” said Amnesty researcher Rupert Abbott to AFP.Amnesty-Internationa

New technology — around a third of Vietnam’s 90 million population is online — changing demographics and a string of high-profile corruption and mismanagement scandals are encouraging more people to challenge the status quo”. Abbott said: “Vietnam is trying to stop this trend of people wanting more say by putting laws in place to restrict free speech further,┬áreferring to Decree 72, which came into effect in September. The sweeping new Internet law, which bans bloggers and social media users from sharing news stories online, has been criticised as a further suppression of on-line freedom. Vietnam, branded an “enemy of the Internet” by Reporters Without Borders, bans private media and controls all newspapers and television channels. Vietnams bid for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, as well as a domestic debate about a series of constitutional amendments, provide a key opportunity to lobby the countrys leaders to improve their rights record, Abbott said. The Amnesty report details the cases of some 75 prisoners of conscience in Vietnam.They include blogger Dieu Cay — imprisoned for 12 years for anti-state propaganda — and activist lawyer Le Quoc Quan, who is serving a 30-month jail term for tax evasion charges criticised as politically motivated.Amnesty has called upon Vietnam to immediately release all prisoners of conscience.

via Amnesty slams Vietnams rights record.

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