Vietnam L4L participates in UPR ‘side-event’
Every four years the United Nations Human Rights Council reviews the human rights situation of each member state. In advance of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Vietnam, L4L, together with a coalition of Vietnamese and international human rights organisations and activists, hosted a side event. This event focussed on the most egregious human rights abuses in Vietnam today:
• Police brutality;
• Persecution of bloggers and repression of Internet freedom;
• Arbitrary detention of hundreds of political prisoners;
• Restrictions against civil society and basic rights.
During the side event, emphasis was put on the case of lawyer Le Quoc Quan. Quan was recently convicted to 30 months imprisonment. Despite criticism about this sentence, amongst others by the UN, the lawyer has not yet been released.
At the side event, L4L had the opportunity to exchange views with the lawyer Le Quoc Quan, with staff from various other organisations dealing with human rights in Vietnam, and several working groups of the UN. L4L also spoke to the mother of Le Quoc Quan, who had travelled to Geneva to attend the side-event. She does not speak English, but told through an interpreter that her son has a hard time in prison. His health is poor, even more since he recently went on hunger strike for the second time. But mentally he is strong. “I am prepared to die for my ideals”, he wrote in a letter that was recently smuggled out of prison.
L4L will keep campaigning for the release of Le Quoc Quan.
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