Joint UPR submission Viet Nam
In July 2018, Lawyers for Lawyers together with Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada and Viet Tan submitted a report for the Universal Periodic Review of Viet Nam. This review will take place on 22 January 2019.
In the report, Lawyers for Lawyers, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada and Viet Tan highlighted that the Vietnamese authorities do not always uphold the necessary guarantees for the proper functioning of the legal profession in practice, as set out in the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.
In the report we expressed concern about the non effective guarantees for the functioning of lawyers in Viet Nam. In the last years, the crackdown on freedom of expression has intensified. Human rights lawyers who work on sensitive cases frequently face reprisals either in relation to their own human rights advocacy or their legal representation of people seen as critical of the Government. Recently, lawyers in Viet Nam have been disbarred or are facing disbarment or other disciplinary actions on improper grounds. Some lawyers in Viet Nam have been subjected to arrests and prosecution in connection to their professional activities or in relation to their human rights advocacy.
In our report we furthermore expressed concern about the freedom of expression and assembly of lawyers and other human rights defenders. It is mentioned that articles 109 and 117 (formerly articles 79 and 88) of the Penal Code (“conducting propaganda” against the State and statements aiming to “overthrow” the State) are frequently invoked to imprison lawyers, bloggers and human rights defenders for the peaceful exercise of their rights to free expression. Many international human rights groups have condemned Viet Nam for non- compliance with international standards of freedom of expression.
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