The Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam is concerned with the decision of the court of appeal in Ho Chi Minh City to uphold the heavy sentences handed down to Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hanh, Mr. Ngo Van Dung, Mr. Le Quy Loc and Mr. Ho Dinh Cuong of the Hiến Pháp (Constitution) Group, a group of activists aiming to peacefully promote the human rights guaranteed in Vietnam’s constitution.
This verdict confirms a worrying trend aimed at reducing space for freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of association in the country.
The Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam recalls the recent statement by the Spokesperson of the HR/VP Josep Borrell on the sentence against members of the Independent Journalists’ Association of Vietnam on 5 January 2021, and expects the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release Ms. Hanh, Mr. Dung, Mr. Loc and Mr. Cuong and other human rights defenders imprisoned for having peacefully expressed their views.
The European Union is strongly committed to the protection, globally, of human rights defenders. The European Union will continue to monitor and work with the Vietnamese authorities and all relevant stakeholders to improve the human rights situation in Vietnam.