December 11, 2015
For Immediate Release
Ottawa, December 10, 2015 – Today Senator Thanh Hai Ngo issued the following statement in response to the arrest and sentencing of Nguyen Mai Trung Tuan:
“I am deeply concerned about the unfair arrest of Nguyen Mai Trung Tuan and the harsh sentence he was given by the People’s Court of Thanh Hoa district, and I condemn the brutal treatment of his family and the confiscation of their land.
“On November 24, 2015, 15-year-old Nguyen Mai Trung Tuan was unfairly tried and sentenced to 4.5 years’ imprisonment and was ordered to pay compensation of VND 42.6 million ($1,880). Authorities also brutally arrested his parents, who stood up against the confiscation of their farmland by authorities, taken in “compensation,” which was purchased at a much lower price than its market value.
“By harshly sentencing a minor and failing to provide the child with proper legal representation, Vietnam is violating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which it signed and ratified in 1990.
“A child was subjected to this human rights abuse due to a series of land seizures across Vietnam. Land is being confiscated from farmers, and they are accusing the local authorities of paying too little in compensation and then selling the land to developers at a profit.
“I call upon international human rights agencies and the international community to work together to challenge this unfair court decision and to take legal action, not only to ensure the immediate release of Nguyen Mai Trung Tuan, but also to protect the rights of minors and to uphold the land ownership rights of Vietnamese citizens.
“Unfortunately, through its one-party rule, the Vietnamese Communist Party authorities often evict people from their homes to make way for development projects. This is a violation of the basic human rights of Vietnam’s own citizens, who suffer ongoing harassment and intimidation without any legal recourse.”
For more information on the human rights situation in Vietnam please consult:
- Our annual Human Rights Report: https://senatorngo.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/FINAL-English-HR-Booklet.compressed.pdf
Office of Senator Thanh Hai Ngo