Statement by U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Vietnam Caryn McClelland on Appeal Verdict of Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh
HANOI, November 30, 2017 – I am deeply troubled that a Vietnamese court has upheld the conviction of peaceful activist and International Woman of Courage awardee, blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh (aka “Mother Mushroom”) to 10 years in prison 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.
Ms. Quynh is one of six individuals convicted this year for exercising such rights, including Tran Thi Nga. The trend of increased arrests, convictions, and harsh sentences of peaceful activists and students since early 2016 is deeply troubling.
The United States calls on Vietnam to release Ms. Quynh and 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 its international obligations and commitments.