Full statement of HMA Gareth Ward on Vietnam’s recent sentencing of 8 Human Rights Defenders

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‘I’ve been impressed with the openness that Vietnam has shown during the pandemic, providing the Vietnam people with the info they need to stay safe & enabling Vietnam to effectively tackle COVID-19…

Freedom of expression and a free media are also essential qualities underpinning the rule of law and enabling economic development, particularly important now given the economic impact that COVID-19 has had, and is continuing to have, on the world.

I was therefore concerned to hear about the heavy sentences given to 8 Vietnamese Human Rights Defenders on 31 Jul for seeking to raise awareness among Vietnam ppl of their individual rights enshrined in Vietnam’s constitution & under the various int’l declarations & covenants that Vietnam is part of.

Vietnam has won the admiration of the world in its successful fight against COVID-19. It is my hope that Vietnam will change its approach to those promoting freedom of expression & a free media & see these not as a threat but as beneficial to Vietnam’s dev & sth that will make Vietnam stronger.’

United Kingdom is committed to defending universal human rights & to supporting Human Rights Defenders around the world, using all routes to create stronger global standards to protect human rights defenders.

Original Statement: Twitter @UKinVietnam

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