Open Letter to Reject the EU-Vietnam FTA
A coalition of in total 90 Vietnamese and international human rights organizations, Lawyers for Lawyers amongst them, called on the European Union (EU) to reject the pending EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.
Vietnam is in the midst of an unprecedented political crackdown against peaceful expression.Just in April 2018, the Vietnamese authorities conducted five political trials and sentenced ten human rights defenders and bloggers to harsh prison sentences of up to 15 years in prison for peacefully exercising rights to freedom of expression and association. Amongst them is human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai.
Nguyen Van Dai is the co-founder of the Vietnam Human Rights Committee and a prodemocracy activist. He has provided legal assistance to government critics and members of religious minorities. On 16 December 2015, Nguyen Van Dai was arrested while he was on his way to a meeting with delegates from the European Union as part of the annual EU-Viet Nam Dialogue on Human Rights. His house was searched, items of property seized, and he was transferred immediately to a detention centre. Hereafter, Nguyen Van Dai was held incommunicado for a long period of time.
In 2017, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention(WGAD) published an Opinion calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Nguyen Van Dai. The WGAD found that Nguyen Van Dai’s arrest and detention were arbitrary and designed to prevent him from exercising his right to freely express his views on the political and human rights situation in Viet Nam.
The European External Action Service condemned the 5 April 2018 conviction and sentencing of Nguyen Van Dai and his colleagues, stating these individuals “have peacefully advocated the promotion and protection of human rights as guaranteed by the Vietnamese Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Lawyers for Lawyers remains concerned about the situation of Nguyen Van Dai and will continue to closely monitor his case.
Please find the full statement here.
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