Statement by U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius

October 12, 2016

I am deeply concerned by the recent actions taken against peaceful human rights advocates, including the October 10 arrest of blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (also known as Me Nam), the September 22 court decision to uphold the convictions of bloggers Nguyen Huu Vinh (also known as Anh Ba Sam) and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy, and the September 20 conviction of land rights advocate Can Thi Theu.  On October 5, a Ho Chi Minh City court upheld the conviction of blogger Nguyen Dinh Ngoc, although it reduced the sentence from four to three years.

This trend threatens to overshadow Vietnam’s progress on human rights.  The United States calls on Vietnam to release these individuals and all other prisoners of conscience, and to allow all individuals in Vietnam to express their political views online and offline without fear of retribution.  We also urge the government to ensure its laws and actions are consistent with the human rights provisions of Vietnam’s Constitution, and Vietnam’s international obligations and commitments.