For Immediate Release
AIUSA media office, 202-544-0200 x302
Amnesty International Condemns Heavy Sentences for Vietnam Labor Activists
WASHINGTON - Amnesty International has condemned the prison sentences of nine and seven years given to three activists in Vietnam for carrying out their legitimate work pertaining to labor rights.
"The authorities should immediately release three labor organizers, and stop this needless crackdown on government critics and peaceful activists," said Donna Guest, Amnesty International's deputy director for the Asia-Pacific.
Today Doan Huy Chuong, Do Thi Minh Hanh, and Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung were convicted and sentenced after a speedy trial yesterday for ‘disrupting security'. They had distributed leaflets and supported workers' rights at a factory.
"Today's harsh sentences, and the continuing arrests of activists and bloggers, paint an increasingly bleak picture of freedom of expression and association in Vietnam," said Guest.
Doan is a founding member of the unofficial United Workers-Farmers Organization (UWFO) and previously spent 18 months in prison between 2007 and 2008 on the charge of ‘abusing democratic freedoms'. Do and Nguyen are members of Victims of Injustice, a petitioners' movement.
The three activists are the latest to be convicted in an ongoing wave of arrests and trials of activists, organizers and bloggers.
At least 30 prisoners of conscience are currently imprisoned in Vietnam, including members and supporters of banned political groups, independent trade unionists, bloggers, businessmen, journalists, and writers.
The trial, conviction and sentencing of the three labor activists comes on the eve of the ASEAN summit in Ha Noi, beginning on October 28.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.
We are people from across the world standing up for humanity and human rights. Our purpose is to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. We investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world.