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Yesterday's sentencing of Ms. Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh to 10 years in prison after she had peacefully expressed her opinion on environmental and social issues directly contradicts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Vietnam is a party, in which the freedoms of opinion and expression are enshrined as fundamental rights of every human being, indispensable for individual dignity and fulfilment, as well as Article 25 of the Vietnamese Constitution. The fact that her lawyer was allowed to meet her to prepare her defence only a few days ago calls into question the due process to which every Vietnamese is entitled under the law.
The decision by the Vietnamese authorities not to allow representatives of the EU Delegation and those of the EU Member States' embassies to observe the trial raises questions as to the transparency of the process. The European Union calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Ms. Nguyễn Ngọc Như Quỳnh.
The European Union will continue to monitor the Human Rights Situation in Vietnam, and work with the authorities towards the improvement of the human rights situation in the country.
Friday 30 June 2017