GENEVA, 24 sept 2009 (AFP) – Human rights campaigners on Thursday said Vietnam had rejected UN recommendations to improve rights and criticised a “climate of fear” which they said was stifling freedom of expression.
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights said Hanoi had refused to comply with around 50 suggestions from the United Nations.
“A climate of fear prevails in Vietnam against freedom of expression, of the press and against peaceful assembly, ” the two groups said.
The UN Human Rights Council made its recommendations after one of its regular examinations of a state’s human rights records.
But Vietnam rejected these suggestions, the Paris-based FIDH and the Vietnamese group said, and pointed to Hanoi’s refusal to overhaul its laws in a number of areas.
These included regulations on “national security” and “the misuse of democratic freedoms to the detriment of the state’s interests”, the non-governmental organisations said.
The groups also criticised laws permitting the detention of dissidents without trial and the arrest of so-called “cyberdissidents”, who use the Internet to protest against the government.