U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
STATEMENT BY HEATHER NAUERT, SPOKESPERSON
April 5, 2018
Sentencing of Peaceful Activists in Vietnam
The United States is deeply troubled that a Vietnamese court has convicted and sentenced peaceful activists Nguyen Van Dai, Le Thu Ha, Pham Van Troi, Nguyen Trung Ton, Nguyen Bac Truyen and Truong Minh Duc to harsh prison sentences under the vague charge of “activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration.” We note with concern that Vietnamese authorities held Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thu Ha in pre-trial detention for over two years.
Individuals have the right to the fundamental freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, both online and offline. The United States is deeply concerned by the Vietnamese government’s efforts to restrict these rights, through a disturbing trend of increased arrests, convictions, and harsh sentences of peaceful activists.
The United States calls on Vietnam to release all prisoners of conscience immediately, 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 Vietnam’s international obligations and commitments.