News / Asia

Vietnam Prepares for UN Human Rights Review, Activists Lobby for Pressure

Vietnam map
Vietnam map
TEXT SIZE - +
Tra MiTrung Nguyen
Representatives from the Vietnamese government will appear before the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Wednesday for a review of its human rights record amid mounting criticism that Hanoi does not tolerate opposition voices.

Rolando Gomez, spokesman for the council, told VOA’s Vietnamese service the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which takes place every four years, is "a significant occasion for Vietnam."

"It will provide a unique opportunity for the government of Vietnam to spell out what steps they have taken in the country to advance human rights," he said. "The idea would also be for them to spell out the challenges that remain.  It is also an opportunity for other U.N. member states to propose recommendations to Vietnam in a constructive manner."

Meanwhile, activists who accuse Vietnam of conducting a crackdown on critics are also gathering in Geneva to offer their perspective and put pressure on Hanoi.

Blogger Nguyen Anh Tuan said a delegation of activists is meeting this week with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and other U.N. bodies.

"This is the first time a delegation of rights defenders from Vietnam has made such a campaign trip to Western countries to provide the international community with real facts and information on human rights in Vietnam," said Tuan. "We hope the international community will make greater efforts in pushing Hanoi to respect and improve human rights."

Another critic of the government in Hanoi is Dang Xuong Hung, a former Vietnamese diplomat who is seeking asylum in Switzerland.  Dang, who left his post in Geneva after withdrawing from the Vietnamese Communist Party in 2012, says minor reforms will not be enough.

"I would like the world to pay closer attention to Vietnam’s human rights to help bring Vietnam back to the international community, back to the civilized world, and to a brighter future," said Hung.

Last year, Vietnam was chosen to join the U.N. rights body in a move that angered many activists, who said Hanoi should first improve its record.

Hanoi, which has said it has full respect for human rights, has dismissed the activists' attempt to pressure the government.  Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh was recently quoted by local media as saying that "there are forces and people who always attempt to criticize Vietnam to serve their own purposes."

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

Trung Nguyen

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid