U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam David Shear, along with the representatives of 25 other countries, sent a letter to the Government of Vietnam requesting the humanitarian release of political prisoner Dinh Dang Dinh.
“Vietnamese authorities’ use of national security laws to imprison critics for peacefully expressing their political views is inconsistent with Vietnam’s international obligations under the International covenant on Civil and Political Rights and commitments reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the letter stated.
Vietnamese authorities’ use of national security laws to imprison critics for peacefully expressing their political views is inconsistent with Vietnam’s international obligations."
The United States calls on the government of Vietnam to grant humanitarian release immediately to Dinh Dang Dinh, in light of the critical state of his health.
Mr. Dinh Dang Dinh was sentenced on August 9, 2012, to six years of imprisonment for producing anti-government propaganda. Mr. Dinh, 50 years old, has been incarcerated since his arrest in October 2011 for writing articles that raised environmental concerns and questioned the government-supported development of a bauxite mine in the Central Highlands region of Vietnam. The articles allegedly rejected the Communist Party of Vietnam and the ethics of the state’s founder, Ho Chi Minh.
Ambassador Shear signed a European Union-drafted letter calling for the immediate release of Mr. Dinh on humanitarian grounds or, at a minimum, allow for his transfer to a Public Security hospital. Previous requests for suspending the sentence or transferring Mr. Dinh to a hospital with adequate treatment have been denied.
The letter from the diplomatic missions also calls on the Government of Vietnam “to release unconditionally all prisoners of conscience, and allow all Vietnamese to express their political views.”
Under international law, including treaties to which Vietnam is party, states must respect freedom of expression, including the peaceful expression of political views.