Statement by the Spokesperson on the sentencing of Nguyen Ngoc Anh in Vietnam
Today's sentencing of Mr Nguyen Ngoc Anh to 6 years in prison and 5 years of probation is a worrying development. Freedom of opinion and expression – both online and offline – are human rights, and are vital to ensuretransparency, social justice, sustainable and inclusive development and prosperity.
Mr Nguyen Ngoc Anh's right to peaceful freedom of expression is 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. This sentence is thus in direct breach of these same national and international obligations.
The European Union expects the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release Mr Nguyen Ngoc Anh as well as all bloggers and human right defenders imprisoned for having peacefully expressed their views. 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.