HANOI, July 26, 2017 – I am deeply concerned that a Vietnamese court has convicted peaceful activist Tran Thi Nga to nine years in prison and five years of probation under the vague charge of “propaganda against the State.”
All people have the right to the fundamental freedoms of expression, association, and of peaceful assembly. We have seen some positive steps on human rights in Vietnam over the past few years. However, the trend of increased arrests, convictions, and harsh sentences of peaceful activists since early 2016 is deeply troubling.
The United States calls on Vietnam to release Tran Thi Nga and all other prisoners of conscience, and to allow all individuals in Vietnam to express their views freely and assemble peacefully without fear of retribution.
We also urge the Vietnamese government to ensure its actions and laws, including the Penal Code, are consistent with the human rights provisions of Vietnam’s constitution and its international obligations and commitments.