The EU Delegation notes the recent sentencing of Mr Le Dinh Luong under the national security provisions of the Penal Code to 20 years in prison, followed by five years of probation which follows the negative trend of repression against peaceful activists in Vietnam.
Mr Le Dinh Luong has peacefully advocated for the promotion and protection of human rights as guaranteed by the Vietnamese Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international conventions to which Vietnam has itself signed up to, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As his conviction is in direct breach of these international obligations, the European Union expects the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release Mr Le Dinh Luong as well as all bloggers and human right activists imprisoned for having peacefully expressed their views.
Moreover, the EU Delegation regrets 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 as it might raise questions as to the transparency of the process.
The European Union will continue to monitor and work with the authorities and all relevant stakeholders to improve the human rights situation in Vietnam.