OTTAWA – On April 7th, 2014 Senator Thanh Hai Ngo and members of the Senate Standing Committee on Human Rights met with Hoi Trinh, Executive Director for Voice, Ann Pham-Board member of Voice, Tuan Nguyen Activist for Network of Vietnamese Bloggers, Blogger Doan Trang Pham and human rights lawyer Long Trinh, to discuss Vietnam’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), and issues related to human rights in Vietnam.
The members of the Human Rights Committee entertained the witnesses by asking numerous questions regarding Vietnam’s latest UPR, the recent judicial reform for greater social justice, and the restriction and tight control of the media under the Vietnamese government. “Their testimonies made it very clear that in reality the Socialist Republic of Vietnam does not respect basic liberties of expression like they defended during their Universal Periodic Review”, said Senator Ngo after the committee meeting. “We must continue to remind the Government of Vietnam of its legal obligations to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all its citizens” he added.
Vietnam still thoroughly suppresses freedom of expression, religion, association and peaceful assembly. As a new member of the Human Rights Council, Vietnamese authorities still fails to live up to many of their domestic and international human rights obligations.