NONVIOLENT RADICAL PARTY, TRANSNATIONAL AND TRANSPARTY
NGO in General consultative status with ECOSOC of the UN
Chianciano Terme (Italy), 17-20 February 2011 (NRPTT) – The situation of human rights in Vietnam is abysmal, and it is growing worse. Not only does the government use brutality to arrest and stifle peaceful opposition voices, but it is adopting extensive legislation to criminalize all religious and political dissent. Under vaguely-worded “national security” provisions in the Vietnamese Penal Code, citizens face heavy prison sentences and even the death penalty simply for circulating peaceful appeals for democracy and reform. In a widespread crackdown on freedom of expression prior to the XIth Communist Party Congress in January 2011, scores of bloggers, cyber-dissidents and online journalists were detained and harassed, and their blogs were closed down. Demands for democratization and political reforms by high-ranking Communist Party veterans were overthrown, and a team of hard-line ideologues was elected to the country’s leadership.
Freedom of conscience and religion is severely repressed. Buddhism, followed by the majority of Vietnamese, is a major target of repression because of the conflict between the Government and the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam (UBCV) on the respect of fundamental freedoms and human rights. The UBCV calls for human rights for all Vietnamese people, and its leader Thich Quang Do, is spending his 30th year in detention for peacefully advocating these rights.
We believe that the Vietnamese people’s life-standard should not be measured by Gross National Product, which reflects only the riches of the ruling class and the Communist Party’s elite, but by Gross National Happiness, based on four elements: (a) maintaining sustainable economic growth, (b) promoting education and spiritual development, (c) protecting ecology and the environment and (d) good governance.
We therefore call on the Nonviolent Radical Party to support the movement nonviolent for freedom, human rights and democracy in Vietnam. We urge you to raise the case of Vietnam in the Italian Parliament, the European Parliament and all other international forums. By keeping Vietnam on the international agenda, you will prevent Hanoi’s leaders from stifling the people’s voice.
We also urge you to press for the release of all political prisoners in Vietnam, and to launch a concerted campaign in 2011 for the immediate release of Thich Quang Do from house arrest.
General Council Members of the NRPTT