In submission to UN panel, RSF calls on the Vietnamese regime to free all journalists it detains

In a joint submission to a United Nations human rights panel, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to release all journalists and press freedom defenders it detains, and to stop its crackdown on the right to information in the country.

On 10 October 2023, RSF and four other human rights organisations, including Viet Tan, submitted recommendations to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, which will conduct its fourth Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam’s human rights performance early next year.

In 2019, following its most recent UPR, which reviews the human rights situation of all UN member states, the regime pledged to “ensure the freedom and independence of the media”. The situation in the country has instead continued to worsen: harsh prison sentences have been pronounced against independent journalists such as Pham Doan Trang, 2019 RSF Press Freedom Prize laureate who was sentenced to nine years in prison in 2021.

“Despite its commitments made before the UN members, the Vietnamese regime has strengthened its legislative arsenal against the right to information and stepped up its repression of independent journalists. The international community must seize the opportunity presented by this Universal Periodic Review to confront the regime with its contradictions and increase its pressure for the regime to immediately release all the 39 journalists and press freedom defenders it detains.

Cédric Alviani
RSF Asia-Pacific Bureau Director

In Vietnam, jailed journalists are almost systematically subjected to mistreatment and denied medical care. On 2 August 2022, political commentator Do Cuong Dong died in detention at the age of 58, as a result of the mistreatment he had been subjected to since his arrest. More recently, in August 2023, the family of freelance reporter Le Huu Minh Tuan, who was sentenced in 2021 to 11 years in prison, revealed he is suffering from a severe scabies infection for which he is denied medical treatment by the prison administration.

Vietnam ranks 178th out of 180 in the 2023 Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press Freedom Index, its lowest position since the release of this index in 2002.

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178/ 180
Score : 24.58
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