News / Asia

Rights Advocates Criticize Vietnam on UPR Rejections

FILE - A staff member walks along a corridor during the 26th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 10, 2014.
FILE - A staff member walks along a corridor during the 26th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 10, 2014.
Vietnam's rejection of 45 key recommendations in its U.N. human rights review has drawn criticism from activists.

Last week, Vietnam agreed to accept 182 of the 227 recommendations from its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) by the Human Rights Council. Hanoi said its decision demonstrates Vietnam's seriousness, openness and determination in promoting and protecting human rights.

But critics say the decision to reject many items is sad, if not surprising.

Trinh Huu Long, a Vietnamese human rights lawyer who attended Vietnam’s UPR adoption session on Friday, told VOA's Vietnamese service the decision shows there is no change in  Hanoi’s "will, mindset and actions in human rights."

“The outcome of the UPR [Friday] completely matches the information from an official of the Vietnam Foreign Affairs Ministry two months ago saying that they would advise the administration to reject 20 percent of the recommendations related to politically sensitive issues, including the release of political prisoners, legal reform, and allow for free press," Long said.

Phil Robertson, the Asia Deputy Director for Human Right's Watch, says that while Hanoi chose to accept most of the recommendations, it rejected those that would dramatically improve human rights in the country.

"Let's talk about quality over quantity, is what I would say," he said. "Let's talk about, you know, what are the ones that Vietnam is rejecting. What are the ones that are at the core really sort of critical in terms of dealing with the people being locked away, people being in prison for peaceful exercise of their rights. You know, these provisions of the penal code that are used time and time again against various different political prisoners in Vietnam."

The U.N. Human Rights Council held Vietnam's UPR in February. Vietnam was chosen to join the U.N. rights body last year in a move that angered many activists, who said Hanoi should first improve its record.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.

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Comment Sorting
by: Rang Ho from: Saigon
June 25, 2014 6:36 AM
Nation Vietnam is a big jail. Inside big jail are many small jails. Vietnam Communist defines free: when persons are not in small jails. Vietnam human right: to eat, to drink, to sleep and to work. Person want license, want good work, good school must pay person work in government. Vietnam person not free.

by: deutsch from: Los Angeles
June 24, 2014 1:50 PM
If you want a United Vietnam against China's threat, you must embrace human rights. Those political activists that you are jailing are on your side opposing China. Why are you jailing them for? A bunch of authoritarian 'commies'. I hope you all change human rights policy for the better to fit with the UN standards, otherwise Vietnamese peasants will change all of you incompetent corrupted leaders.

by: Adam9 from: Dong Nai, VN
June 24, 2014 7:14 AM
To the 3 million members of the Communist Party of Vietnam: You had done a few goods in the past and you have been doing many things bad to the country of Vietnam and the people of Vietnam. You are holding the country of Vietnam back and you are holding the people of Vietnam back. The integrity of our ancestral land has been violated by foreign powers once again. You are ruling the country of Vietnam but you are not the real representatives of the people of Vietnam. You have been putting your own interest above that of the country of Vietnam and that of the people of Vietnam.

40 years have gone by since the end of the war in our country, the Communist Party of Vietnam and its 3 million members have become very rich but the country of Vietnam is still poor and a majority of the people of Vietnam is still poor. You have been stealing from the country of Vietnam, you have been oppressing the people of Vietnam and you are losing the trust of the people of Vietnam. Let go of the people of Vietnam now! Let go of the country of Vietnam now! Democratize the country of Vietnam now! *** Or you will be kicked down and you will be kicked out by the people of Vietnam.

by: People from: Vietnam
June 23, 2014 10:46 PM
To the politburo of the Vietnamese Communist Party.
Let go of the country, let go of the people, let them be free now!
Let go of the country, let go of the people, let them be free now!
Let go of the country, let go of the people, let them be free now!

In Response

by: Anonymous
June 24, 2014 11:08 AM
This is the best way to burn out Vietnamese mommy, then let's the Vietnamese people moving toward democracy in Vietnam.

by: anonymous23 from: Canada
June 23, 2014 9:45 PM
Human rights is now nothing but a big joke to the U.N., More actions are needed because nothing but big talks and criticisms are being handed out. It is not going to faze anyone into submission and respect it's charter of rights and freedom.

by: Adam9 from: Dong Nai, VN
June 23, 2014 7:37 PM
Not surprising, but I feel sad and pain nonetheless.

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