Australia 'should press' Vietnam over human rights

At least 12 people have been given long prison terms this year simply for exercising their basic rights

August 2, 2016
Australia should press "for significant and solid improvement" during its 13th human rights dialogue with the Vietnamese government, said Human Rights Watch (HRW) Aug. 1.

"In 2016, Vietnamese authorities have sentenced yet more activists and bloggers to jail, broken up peaceful demonstrations by force, and restricted religious freedom," said Elaine Pearson, Australia director for HRW.

"Australia should use this opportunity to make it clear to Vietnam that empty promises on human rights are not acceptable," she said.

The agenda and outcome of the dialogue between officials from the two countries in Hanoi on Aug. 4 should be made public, the rights groups said.

So far this year, Vietnamese authorities have sentenced at least 12 people to long prison terms simply for exerting their basic rights as per the Vietnamese Constitution, said HRW.

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