Canada Raises Human Right Concerns with Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam

December 4, 2013

OTTAWA – On December 3rd, 2013, the Honourable Minister Chris Alexander, Minister of Immigration and Citizenship hosted a high level bilateral meeting joined by Senator Thanh Hai Ngo and the delegation of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam headed by His Excellency Vu Van Ninh, Deputy Prime Minister.

During the bilateral meeting Minister Alexander and Senator Ngo raised their ongoing concerns of human right abuses in Vietnam pertaining to internet freedom. They took this opportunity to raise the cases of Father Ly, Nguyen Dinh Kha, Phuong Uyen Nguyen and Viet Khang. They also discussed other issues, including trade and immigration.

“The sentencing of bloggers amounts to Internet censorship, and is a violation of human rights and freedom of expression,” said Senator Ngo. “I am glad to have had raised our deep concerns directly with high official from the Social Republic of Vietnam. I congratulate the Vietnamese government on the reduced suspending sentence of blogger Phuong Uyen Nguyen from a 6 year jail term to 3 year probation. Hopefully our message will encourage the Vietnamese government to take similar action for other prisoners of conscience such as the cases of Nguyen Dinh Kha and Viet Khang.”
This latest in a series of convictions demonstrates that Vietnam should do more in order to further protect and promote human rights, freedom of expression and the rule of law.

Attachments: Pictures of the bilateral meeting. Click photos to enlarge.