Sommaire: Viet Nam: EU Presidency Declaration on sentencing of human rights defenders (15 May 2007: Brussels)
The EU has noted with great concern that several peaceful human rights defenders have been arrested and given long prison sentences on charges of "conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam". On 30 March, Father Nguyen Van Ly, Nguyen Phong and Nguyen Binh Thanh were sentenced to 8, 6 and 5 years' imprisonment respectively by the People's Court of Thua Thien Hue Province. On 10 May, Nguyen Bac Truyen, Huynh Nguyen Dao and Le Nguyen
Sang were sentenced to 3, 4 and 5 years' imprisonment respectively by the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City. On 11 May the People's Court of Hanoi sentenced lawyers Nguyen Van Dai to 5 years' imprisonment plus 4 years' "administrative probation" (house arrest) and Le Thi Cong Nhan to 4 years' imprisonment plus 3 years' "adminsitrative probation". On 15 May, Tran Quoc Hien was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and 2 years "administrative probation" by the People's Court
of Ho Chi Minh City.
The EU reiterates its plea to the Government of Viet Nam to release all non-violent political activists who have simply exercised their rights to freedom of expression and association as guaranteed in article 69 of the Vietnamese Constitution and in articles 19 and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Viet Nam is a party.
The EU will continue its ongoing dialogue process with Viet Nam, of which the established EU-Viet Nam Human Rights Dialogue is an integral part.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.