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B9-0077/2021
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    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the human rights situation in Vietnam, in particular the case of human rights journalists Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy and Le Huu Minh Tuan

    19.1.2021 - (2021/2507(RSP))

    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 144 of the Rules of Procedure

    Saskia Bricmont, Anna Cavazzini, Heidi Hautala, Markéta Gregorová, Francisco Guerreiro, Bronis Ropė, Rosa D'Amato, Jordi Solé, Hannah Neumann, Ignazio Corrao, Alviina Alametsä, Sara Matthieu, Diana Riba i Giner, Eleonora Evi
    on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

    See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0077/2021

    NB: This motion for a resolution is available in the original language only.
    Procedūra : 2021/2507(RSP)
    Dokumenta lietošanas cikls sēdē
    Dokumenta lietošanas cikls :  
    B9-0077/2021
    Iesniegtie teksti :
    B9-0077/2021
    Balsojumi :
    Pieņemtie teksti :

    B9‑0077/2021

    European Parliament resolution on the human rights situation in Vietnam, in particular the case of human rights journalists Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy and Le Huu Minh Tuan

    (2021/2507(RSP))

    The European Parliament,

    – having regard to its previous resolutions, in particular of 12 February 2020 on the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam (2018/0356M(NLE), of 12 February 2020 on the Investment Protection Agreement with Socialist Republic of Viet Nam (2018/0358M(NLE), of 15 November 2018 on Vietnam, notably the situation of political prisoners, of 14 December 2017 on freedom of expression in Vietnam, notably the case of Nguyen Van Hoa, and of 9 June 2016 on Vietnam, in particular freedom of expression;

     

    – having regard to the EEAS Statement by the Spokesperson of 6 January 2021 on the sentencing of three journalists,

     

    – having regard to the UN Special Rapporteurs’ joint statement of 14 January 2021 on “Viet Nam: Arrests send chilling message before key Party meeting”,

     

    – having  regard to the Press briefing notes of the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 8 January 2021 and to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ statement of 3 June 2020,

     

    – having regard to the UN Human Rights Committee’s concluding observations on the third periodic report of Viet Nam of 29 August 2019,

     

    – having regard to the Joint Allegation Letters by UN Special Procedures on the three journalists, of 17 September 2020 and of 22 January 2020 on two individuals including journalist Pham Chi Dung and to the responses by the Vietnamese Government respectively of 28 December and of 18 March 2020,

     

    – having regard to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA),

     

    – having regard to the decision of the European Ombudsman of 26 February 2016 in case 1409/2014/MHZ on the European Commission’s failure to carry out a prior human rights impact assessment of the EU-Vietnam free trade agreement,

     

    – having regard to the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement signed on 27 June 2012,

     

    – having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,

     

    – having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

     

    – having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam acceded in 1982,

     

    – having regard to Rule 132(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

     

     

    A.  Whereas Vietnam currently holds in detention the largest number of political prisoners in South-East Asia and is currently holding 170 prisoners of conscience, of whom 69 solely due to their social media activity; whereas most political prisoners are detained under vaguely-worded national security clauses which are inconsistent with the Vietnamese Constitution and international human rights treaties such as the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is a state party;

     

    B. Whereas on 5 January 2021 human rights defenders and journalists Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy and Le Huu Minh Tuan, members of the Independent Journalist Association of Vietnam (IJAVN), were sentenced to heavy prison terms of 15 and 11 years respectively, by the People’s Court of Ho Chi Mihn City for, amongst other charges, “making, storing, spreading information, materials, items for the purpose of opposing the State”;

     

    C. Whereas Pham Chi Dung, an independent journalist campaigning in defence of the environment, democracy, media freedom, political plurality, the rule of law, and the development of civil society, has been in arbitrary detention since November 2019 on charges of “cooperating with foreign media to deliver distorted information”; whereas these charges were issued after he sent a video message to MEPs urging them to postpone the ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) until progress was made on human rights in the country; whereas Pham Chi Dung had been previously detained for six months in 2012 over the same accusations;

     

    D. Whereas the European Parliament, on the occasion of the ratification of the EVFTA in February 2020 has highlighted the grave and systematic violation of human rights in Vietnam and urged the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release all political prisoners and members of civil society such as bloggers or independent labour unionists who are currently detained or convicted;

     

    E. Whereas, since the launch of EVFTA negotiations there has been a steep rise in the number of detentions, arrests and sentencing of Vietnamese citizens related to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, which has continued throughout the period of negotiations and after entry into force; whereas many journalists, human rights defenders and critics of the government remain detained without trial; whereas the upcoming 13th Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam may not lead to an improvement of the human rights situation in the country;

     

    F. Whereas, as part of the ongoing crackdown on dissent, Vietnam has also intensified pressure on tech giants, including Facebook and YouTube to comply with the government’s censorship requests; whereas Facebook and YouTube have complied with hundreds of requests to censor content earlier this year, including peaceful criticism of the state by activists, which is protected under international human rights law;

     

    G. whereas Vietnam ranks 175 out of 180 on the Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index 2018;

     

    H. Whereas the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Vietnamese Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other international conventions, which Vietnam has signed up to, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; whereas, in the context of the Universal Periodic Review, Vietnam accepted recommendations to guarantee and lift restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression;

     

    I. Whereas death penalty is still applied in the country but the number of executions is unknown, since Vietnamese authorities classify death penalty statistics as a state secret;

     

    J. whereas EU-Vietnam relations are founded on the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which considers human rights as an essential element of the agreement and which provides for suspension of the bilateral cooperation instruments, including bilateral trade preferences, in case of serious and systematic violations;

     

     

    1.   Deeply deplores the worsening climate for journalists and human rights defenders in Vietnam and their families and condemns all acts of violence, politically motivated charges, arbitrary detention, use of intrusive surveillance, harassment, sentences, convictions and forced exiles in respect to these individuals;

     

    1.   Calls on the Vietnamese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release of Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy and Le Huu Minh Tuan and all other journalists, human rights and environmental defenders and prisoners of conscience detained and sentenced for merely exercising their right to freedom of expression, and to drop all charges against them, including among many others, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, Ho Duc Hoa, Tran Anh Kim, Le Thanh Tung, Phan Kim Khanh, Tran Hoang Phuc, Hoang Duc Binh, Bui Van Trung, Truong Minh Duc, Nguyen Trung Ton, Pham Van Troi, Nguyen Bac Truyen, Le Dinh Luong, Nguyen Van Tuc, Nguyen Trung Truc, Pham Van Diep, Nguyen Nang Tinh, Tran Duc Thach, Pham Doan Trang, Can Thi Theu, Trinh Ba Phuong, Trinh Ba Tu, and Dinh Thi Thu Thuy;

     

    1.   Calls on the Vietnamese authorities to immediately cease other forms of harassment and intimidation of journalists, human rights and environmental defenders, activists and all individuals engaged in the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and other human rights on- and offline;

     

    1.   Insists that Vietnamese authorities must guarantee the rights, safety and physical and psychological well-being of all detainees while in detention, including ensuring the possibility for family visits and contact;

     

    1.   Calls on the Vietnamese authorities to end the arbitrary censorship of independent news and media for both domestic and international news outlets, to cease restrictions on online information sources and internet usage and provide a safe space and enabling environment for journalists, citizen journalists, bloggers and others who express themselves online, and to urgently comply with the recommendations issued as part of the Universal Periodic Review, where Vietnam accepted recommendations to guarantee and lift restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression;

     

    1.   Condemns and denounces the compliance by Facebook and YouTube with hundreds of requests to censor content earlier this year, including peaceful criticism of the state by activists, which is protected under international human rights law and urges tech giants not to be complicit in the ongoing censorship and repression in Vietnam;

     

    1.   Calls on the Vietnamese Government to ensure the full respect of rule of law and of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which includes fully complying with the constitutional provisions on freedom of association and expression; strongly condemns the use of vaguely worded provisions in Vietnamese laws to criminalise human rights defenders;

     

    1.   Urges the Vietnamese government to repeal or revise Articles 117, 118 and 331 of the 2015 Criminal Code, which unduly restrict the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, to amend the Law on Cybersecurity and the Decrees 15/2020/ND-CP on penalties for administrative violations against regulations on postal services, telecommunications, radio frequencies, information technology and electronic transactions and 72/2013/ND-CP on Management, Provision, and Use of Internet Services and Information Content Online, in order to bring them into conformity with international human rights standards; stresses, in particular, that a reform of the Criminal Code is also necessary to ensure the effective implementation of ILO conventions 98 and 87, which Vietnam has committed to ratify;

     

    1.   Calls on Vietnam to accelerate the pace for the ratification of ILO Convention 87 on the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize and to ensure the prompt entry into force and to provide a credible roadmap for the implementation of the Convention 105 on the Abolition of Forced Labour and of Convention 98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining; urges the Vietnamese authorities to engage more on a progressive workers’ rights agenda through concrete measures; stresses that Vietnam’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Labour Code should be applied in a manner that does not render practically impossible the exercise of freedoms, especially as regards the freedom of assembly of independent labour unions;

     

    1. Calls on the Vietnamese authorities to support the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), to promote responsible business practices and to ensure effective respect for social and environmental standards in relation to corporate activities as well as investment and business development projects, especially with regard to land acquisitions, garment and technology sectors, extractive industries, infrastructure projects and cooperation involving the security sector; calls on companies and financial institutions based in or operating within the EU to strictly comply with the UNGPs and both international and national human rights law, as well as to conduct a meticulous human rights and environmental due
      diligence process in relation to all their business operations and relationships within the country;

     

    1. Calls on the Vietnamese authorities to introduce an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty as a step towards abolition; calls for a review of all death sentences to ensure that these trials adhered to international standards;

     

    1. Acknowledges the institutional and legal link between the FTA and the PCA, which ensures that human rights are placed at the core of the EU-Vietnam relationship; stresses the significance of truly positive trends in terms of human rights for the swift ratification of this agreement, and calls on the Vietnamese authorities to take concrete measures to improve the situation as a signal of their commitment; urges the Parties to make full use of the agreements in order to improve the urgent human rights situation in Vietnam, and underlines the importance of a constructive and effective human rights dialogue between the EU and Vietnam; points out that Article 1 of the PCA contains a standard human rights clause which can trigger appropriate measures, including, as a last resort, the suspension of the PCA, and implicitly of the EVFTA, or parts thereof, without delay;

     

    1. In light of the magnitude of the ongoing human rights violations, calls on the Commission to take immediate measures and to trigger Article 1 of the PCA;

     

    1. Calls on Vietnam to ensure the respect for human rights, as these are essential elements of the EU-Vietnam Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement ;

     

    1. Regrets that the Commission has failed to undertake a comprehensive human rights impact assessment of the FTA; requests that such an assessment be carried out as soon as possible by the Commission as of the first ex-post evaluation of the implementation of EVFTA with a view to ensuring ‘comprehensible trade indicators based on human rights and on environmental and social standards’, and in line with the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food;

     

    1. and to examine the situation in the next annual report on the implementation of trade policy; asks it to systematically include human rights in its impact assessments as and when they are carried out, including for trade agreements that have significant economic, social and environmental impacts; points out that the Commission has also committed to carrying out an ex post economic, social and environmental impact assessment;

     

    1. Reiterates its call for the EU and Vietnam to set up an independent monitoring mechanism on human rights and an independent complaints mechanism, providing affected citizens and local stakeholders with effective recourse to remedy, and a tool to address potential negative impacts on human rights of the trade and investment, notably through the application of the state-to-state dispute settlement mechanism to the TSD chapter;

     

    1. Regrets that the Domestic Advisory Groups (DAGs) are yet to be operationalised and reiterates its call for a broad and balanced representation of independent, free and diverse civil society organisations within those groups, including independent Vietnamese organisations from the labour and environmental sectors as well as human rights defenders;

     

    1. Urges Vietnam to issue a standing invitation to United Nations Special Procedures, in particular the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression and the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders to visit Vietnam, and give them free and unfettered access to all parties they wish to consult;

     

    1. Calls on the HR/VP, the EEAS and the Commission to support journalists, civil society groups and individuals defending human rights in Vietnam in an active manner, including by calling for the release of journalists, human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience in all contacts they hold with Vietnamese authorities; urges the EU Delegation in Hanoi to provide all appropriate support to the imprisoned human rights defenders, including through arranging prison visits, trial monitoring and the provision of legal assistance;

     

    1. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the Government and National Assembly of Vietnam.

     

     

    Pēdējā atjaunošana: 2021. gada 19. janvāris
    Juridisks paziņojums - Privātuma politika