Human Rights Recap for May 2nd–May 16th, 2014: Vietnam Human Rights Day
Just two days after World Press Freedom Day and after the release of several prominent activists, the Vietnamese authorities arrested two more bloggers. Reporters Without Borders writes that Nguyen Huu Vinh and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy were arrested on May 5th for the content of their writings. They were arrested under Article 258 of Vietnam’s Penal Code, and they could receive up to seven years in prison.
Article 258, along with Article 88, are two of the most common articles used to charge activists in Vietnam. Human Rights Watch reports that during January, February, and March 2014, at least six people have been arrested under Article 258.
May 11th was Vietnam Human Rights Day. Though lawmakers in many countries have become more aware of the situation in Vietnam, human rights in Vietnam must be discussed every day and as a part of all policy decisions regarding Vietnam.
News about Vietnam’s human rights record is reaching some citizens. The news forum Vietnam Right Now was recently profiled on the Huffington Post. The news provider focuses specifically on reporting human rights abuses in Vietnam. They are also hoping to inform people about the laws surrounding the situation, such as Article 258. The group also runs a database with information about prisoners of conscience in the country.
Use your social media and personal connections to support justice for Nguyen Huu Vinh and Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy during their upcoming trials, as well as justice for those who remain imprisoned.
Continue to take action with Amnesty International on Tran Huynh Duy Thuc’s behalf. Thuc is serving a 16-year sentence for his peaceful blogging activities.
We hope that through our efforts and yours that more Vietnamese activists’ cases will soon be taken up by government officials and international organizations.
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