Last Updated: Friday, 09 December 2016, 15:34 GMT

Vietnam: Jailed human rights activist must be released immediately

Publisher Article 19
Publication Date 2 October 2013
Cite as Article 19, Vietnam: Jailed human rights activist must be released immediately, 2 October 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/524d69434.html [accessed 11 December 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Today, the Vietnamese blogger, lawyer and activist Le Quoc Quan has been sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay a 59,000 USD fine in response to politically motivated charges of tax evasion. Quan, who has exposed human rights violations on his blog, is the latest victim of a wider government crackdown on bloggers, citizen journalists, and pro-democracy activists in Vietnam. Approximately 46 bloggers have been detained in 2013 alone, a figure that already exceeds that of 2012.

ARTICLE 19 responds to Le Quoc Quan's sentencing:

"Mr. Quan must be released immediately and charges against him dropped. He is the latest victim of the government's relentless and politically motivated campaign to silence criticism and close down the space for public debate and free expression in Vietnam. It is deeply troubling that yet another voice has been silenced by the use of trumped up charges - that appear to be a thinly veiled attempt to conceal an agenda of censorship" said Thomas Hughes, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director.

"Mr Quan joins the growing ranks of bloggers, citizen journalists and human rights activists locked away in Vietnamese jails for daring to speak their minds. Despite the deteriorating situation of fundamental rights in the country, international campaigners remain firmly committed to supporting the courageous human rights defenders who continue to risk their lives and liberty to speak out and be heard" added Hughes.

- See more at: http://www.article19.org/resources.php/resource/37274/en/vietnam:-jailed-human-rights-activist-must-be-released-immediately#sthash.PXOLyKJ1.dpuf

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