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Yesterday's sentencing of Ms. Tran Thi Nga to 9 years in prison after she peacefully expressed her opinion on labour and land rights, directly contradicts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Vietnam is a party. Freedoms of opinion and expression are fundamental rights, indispensable for individual dignity and fulfilment, as also enshrined in Article 25 of the Vietnamese Constitution. It would be just to release unconditionally Ms. Tran Thi Nga.
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 will continue to monitor the Human Rights Situation in Vietnam, and work with the authorities towards improving the human rights situation in the country."