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Procedure : 2018/2925(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0531/2018

Texts tabled :

B8-0531/2018

Debates :

Votes :

PV 15/11/2018 - 5.1

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0459

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 276kWORD 53k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0526/2018
13.11.2018
PE624.240v01-00
 
B8-0531/2018

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure


on Vietnam, notably the situation of political prisoners (2018/2925(RSP))


Fredrick Federley, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Petras Auštrevičius, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Gérard Deprez, Ivan Jakovčić, Petr Ježek, Patricia Lalonde, Urmas Paet, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Jozo Radoš, Robert Rochefort, Marietje Schaake, Pavel Telička, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Hilde Vautmans, Mirja Vehkaperä, Cecilia Wikström, Filiz Hyusmenova, Ilhan Kyuchyuk on behalf of the ALDE Group
NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.

European Parliament resolution on Vietnam, notably the situation of political prisoners (2018/2925(RSP))  
B8‑0531/2018

The European Parliament,

-having regard to previous resolutions of the European Parliament on Vietnam, most notably the resolution of 9 June 2016 and 14 December 2017;

-having regard of the Vietnamese Penal Code;

-having regard to the EU- Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation of 17 December 2015;

-having regard to the Universal declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948;

-having regard to the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966;

-having regard to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 4 February 1985, which Vietnam ratified recently on 5 February 2015;

-having regard to the 2008 EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders;

-having regard to the 2013 EU Guidelines on Freedom of Religion or Belief;

-having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure;

 

A.Whereas according to Project 88, the Vietnamese Political Prisoner Databases, there are 161 prisoners of conscience in Vietnam and 16 activists held in pre-trial detention; whereas political and rights activists face police harassment, intimidation, surveillance and interrogation on a daily basis; whereas activists face long periods of pre-trial detention without access to lawyers or family; Whereas freedom of expression, religious freedom and civil society activism are highly restricted in Vietnam; Whereas there is a general trend of attempts to silence the free media;

 

B.Whereas human rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and activist Le Thu Ha were released from jail and forced to exile in Germany on 7 June 2018, after being sentenced to 15 and 9 years of imprisonment each in a trial held on 5 April with four other members of the Brotherhood for Democracy, for supposedly conducting activities aimed at overthrowing the state;

 

C.Whereas on 16 August Le Dinh Luong, a blogger and activist, was sentenced to a 20-year prison term and 5 year house arrest for trying to overthrow the government accused by authorities of membership in the U.S.-based Vietnamese opposition party Viet Tan;

 

D.Whereas on 12 September 2018, prodemocracy human rights defender Nguyen Trung Truc who is a member of the Brotherhood for Democracy advocacy group was sentenced to a 12 year prison term on charges of trying to overthrow the state;

 

E.Whereas Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known has “Mother mushroom” was released on 17 October 2018 and forced to exile in the US after being sentenced in June 2017 to 10 years in jail on charges of spreading “propaganda against the state”;

 

F.Whereas on 19 September 2018, Dao Quang Thuc was sentenced to a 14-year prison term for posting writings on his Facebook page criticizing Vietnam’s government on charges of trying to overthrow the state;

 

G.Whereas on 2 August 2018, Hoang Anh was found dead under police custody after being arrested for protesting against government plans to grant long-term leases to foreign companies operating in special economic zones (SEZs);

 

H.Whereas activist Nguyen Trung Ton, a member of the online Brotherhood for Democracy advocacy group, is in failing health in prison and unable to walk owing to an untreated injury suffered in a beating by police, and is being denied treatment;

 

I.Whereas Khmer-Krom Buddhist monk Venerable Thach Thuol was arrested and jailed on 20 May 2013 for practising Theravada Buddhism independently of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and remains in prison to this day, and who, as prisoner of conscience, remains subject to continuous psychological torture;

 

J.whereas there are many more political prisoners suffering a similar fate;

 

K.Whereas in June 2017, the Vietnamese National Assembly passed a revised penal code which holds lawyers criminally responsible for not reporting clients to the authorities for a number of crimes; Whereas the penal code is consistently misused to jail human rights activists, dissidents and bloggers for expressing criticism of the government;

 

L.Whereas in April 2016, the National Assembly passed a media law strongly restricting the countries freedom of press; Whereas the state controls all print and broadcast media and authorities silence critical journalist and bloggers through arrests, prosecutions and other means of harassment;

 

M.Whereas on 12 June 2018, Vietnam's National Assembly passed a cyber-security law aimed at tightening online controls, requiring providers to delete posts considered “threatening” to national security and to store users’ personal information inside the country, although this can only be achieved with the consent of such providers;

 

N.Whereas on 18 November 2018, Vietnam’s National Assembly passed a Law on Beliefs and Religions which puts severe restrictions on religious practices by stipulating that religious appointments must “have the spirit of national unity and harmony” (article 32) and prohibiting abuses of freedom of religion that damage “the national great unity, harm state defence, national security, public order and social morale”.

 

1.Expresses concern at the deteriorating human rights situation in the country, especially civil and political rights and the continuing threats and attacks on human rights defenders and civil society activists; condemns the continued use of loose provisions in Vietnam’s criminal procedure code to suppress dissent and jail peaceful activists; calls on Vietnam to repeal in particular articles 109, 116, 117, 118 and 331 of its penal code and article 74 and article 173 of the criminal procedure code, to ensure its legislation is in conformity with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and to allow all people detained for any alleged violations, including national security related ones, to have immediate access to legal counsel upon being arrested. Urges Vietnamese authorities to quash outstanding sentences and drop existing charges against rights defenders for the legitimate rights work; Calls on the Vietnamese government to immediately release all imprisoned human rights defenders, journalists, bloggers, and environmentalists in the country;

 

2.Is deeply concerned with the increasingly restrictive approach of the authorities concerning the freedom of expression and other freedoms; Condemns the use by the authorities of physical and psychological harassment, extra-judicial house arrest, pressure on lawyers, employers, landlords and family members of activists, and the use of intrusive surveillance; Urges Vietnamese authorities to cease all surveillance threats, and physical and psychological attacks against human rights defenders and civil society activists in the country, whether in detention or outside; Insists that Vietnam repeal or amend the Law on Beliefs and Religions, specifically its sections enabling state surveillance of religious organisations and assemblies; Urges Vietnam to revise or repeal articles that are instrumentalised to accuse, arrest and imprison activists;

 

3.Reiterates its call for an EU-wide ban on the export, sale, update and maintenance of any form of security equipment which can be or is used for internal repression, including Internet surveillance technology to states with a worrying human rights record such as Vietnam;

 

4.Calls upon the Vietnamese government, as a an important partner to the European Union, to commit to improve the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the country, as it is a cornerstone of the bilateral relations between Vietnam and the European Union, notably in view of the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA);

 

5.Strongly insists that the government of Vietnam revaluate and repeal all laws and legislation limiting freedom of expression to make sure that this freedom will be protected, including its 2018 cybersecurity law; Calls for an urgent reform of the justice system to ensure international fair trial standards, as provided for in Article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

 

6.Calls upon Vietnam to sign and ratify all relevant Human Right treaties of the United Nations as well as the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and to allow visits from UN Special Representatives

 

 

7.Deplores the attacks by the Vietnamese authorities on the media; Insists that the government of Vietnam fully respects and guarantees the freedom of the press and ensures that journalists and news organisations are fully protected; Is deeply concerned in particular about the imminent entry into force of Vietnam’s new cybersecurity law; Calls on the Vietnamese government to postpone the January 1 2019 implementation of this law until further changes can be made that would bring the law into full compliance with international human rights standards;

 

8.Calls on Vietnam to remove all restrictions on freedom of religion and to ensure all domestic legislation addressing religious affairs is brought into conformity with international human rights law, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); calls in particular on Vietnam to end harassment, arrests, prosecutions, imprisonment, and ill-treatment of people because they are followers of so-called “evil way” religions, and release anyone currently being held for peaceful exercise of the rights to freedom of religion, belief, and association. Further calls on the Vietnamese government to cease all all acts of discrimination, intimidation and retaliation against Montagnards, and to permit outside observers, including United Nations agencies, NGOs and foreign diplomats, unhindered and unaccompanied access to the Central Highlands, including specifically to communes and villages from which Montagnards have departed to seek asylum abroad.

 

9.Reiterates its opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances; calls on Vietnam to halt all executions and to declare a moratorium on death penalty, with a view to its abolition

 

10.Welcomes the partnership and the human rights dialogue between the EU and Vietnam and recalls the importance of EU-Vietnam human rights dialogue as a key instrument to be used to accompany and encourage Vietnam in the implementation of the necessary reforms; calls on the EEAS and on the EU member states’ delegations in Vietnam to intensify their efforts to strengthen the dialogue, and to ensure that it produces concrete deliverables.

 

11.Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government and National Assembly of Vietnam, the governments and parliaments of the ASEAN member states, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

 

Last updated: 13 November 2018Legal notice