Rights group calls for Vietnamese political prisoners’ release
Hanoi, Nov. 3 (IANS): Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday urged Vietnam to immediately release all political prisoners.
The rights group asked world leaders, who will be attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Da Nang from November 6 to 11, to ask Vietnamese authorities to stop persecuting dissidents, reports Efe news.
“Foreign officials in the country for APEC should not turn a blind eye to the over 100 political prisoners those very same leaders have put behind bars,” said Brad Adams, HRW’s Asia director.
Adams warned that while Vietnam is warmly welcoming foreign delegations arriving in the country for the summit, the country’s authorities “are intensifying their crackdown on anyone with the courage to speak up for human rights and democracy”.In the last year, the police have arrested at least 28 people for criticising the authorities, according to the HRW.
A 24-year-old student blogger became one of the latest political prisoners in Vietnam after being sentenced to six years in jail on October 25 for “conducting propaganda” against Vietnam.
Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights and other organisations have also been asking the Communist regime in Vietnam to put an end to arbitrary imprisonment of activists and bloggers and called for the release of all political prisoners.