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VIETNAM – 164 International Human Rights Leagues condemn crackdown on human rights defenders

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37_congress_fidh.jpg164 International Human Rights Leagues gathered in Yerevan, Armenia, and condemned the crack-down on human rights defenders in Vietnam. Below is their statement issued on 10 April:

Members of 164 leagues from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe, meeting in Yerevan, Armenia , from 6 to 10 April 2010 for the 37th Congress of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) adopted an urgent resolution condemning human rights abuses in Vietnam.

The Resolution deplored the recent arrests of human rights defenders and religious and political dissidents, and called on Vietnam to cease repression against all “non-recognized” religious movements including the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam.

It expressed particular concern on recent violations of the right to freedom of expression, stating that Vietnam was “pursuing a relentless campaign against freedom of expression on the Internet, with arrests and harassment against bloggers, cyber-attacks and closures of websites”.

The Resolution also expressed the FIDH delegates’ deception on the initial steps taken by the newly-established ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), chaired by Vietnam, notably the “failure of the AICHR at its first meeting in Jakarta (28 March -1 April, 2010), to meet with civil society and investigate complaints on the grounds of non-interference in internal affairs of States members”.

The FIDH, founded in 1922, is France’s oldest and most prominent and long-standing human rights organisation, with 164 leagues around the world. M. Vo Tran Nhat, Executive Secretary of the Paris-based Vietnam Committee on Human Rights, represented Vietnam at the Congress.