Senator Ngo Condemns the Unfair Prison Sentences of Vietnamese Musicians

OTTAWA, November 6, 2012 – Senator Thanh Hai Ngo today expressed his deep concern about the October 30 convictions and harsh sentencing of two Vietnamese musicians for spreading ‘anti-state propaganda.’

After a brief trial, the Ho Chi Minh People’s Court sentenced Viet Khang to four years and Tran Vu Anh Binh to six years, respectively. Both musicians will also face house arrest after the completion of their sentences.

Senator Ngo, along with the United States Secretary of State, the United Nations and the European Union, condemns the Ho Chi Minh People’s Court sentences: the latest in a series of convictions restricting free of expression in Vietnam.

“I call on the Canadian government to address this important issue in order to ensure the immediate and safe release of these individuals and all prisoners of conscience who have been wrongfully sentenced,” said Senator Ngo. “I also urge the Canadian government to raise these issues with the strongest resolve and pressure the Vietnamese authorities to respect human rights and adhere to its International obligations.”

Viet Khang and Tran Vu Anh Binh were sentenced under article 88 of Vietnam’s Criminal Code for penning lyrics about corruption, injustice and foreign policy in Vietnam. These rulings demonstrate Vietnam failure to comply with international standards as a member of the United Nations since 1977 and as a signatory of the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights.

For more information, please contact:
Vincent Labrosse
Office of the Honourable Thanh Hai Ngo
613-996-7293 –