Institutionalized and systematic human rights violations by the communist party of vietnam



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INSTITUTIONALIZED AND SYSTEMATIC HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF VIETNAM (CPV) AND THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (SRV)


1. Introduction

We the peoples of the United Nations determined



- To save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

- To reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

- To establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained …

(Preamble, Charter of the United Nations)


To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion;

... “

Art. 1 Charter of the UN


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.”

Art. 1 Universal Declaration of Human Rights


In this spirit we would like to elaborate on some examples regarding the law and policies of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV) under the rule of the Communist Party which have been and are being enforced and practiced in Vietnam. Such law and policies open the door to violations of human rights in the most subtle and systematic way. This means that grave human rights violations are being protected by the law, the state security apparatus and the armed forces...

2. SRV’s Law infringes upon Freedom of Expression, of the Press and the Right to be informed
2.1. Freedom of Speech, of the Press and the right to be informed according to International Law
Freedom of thought, expression, of the press and the right to be informed are fundamental inalienable human rights as specicified in Art. 18 and 19 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

Article 18



1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.

2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.

3. Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

4. The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.


Article 19

1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
Article 18

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Freedom of expression is not only guaranteed for each individual. Each citizen has the right to express, propagate his or her own thought and opinions to the public without hindrance as to national boundary within which he or she lives and by all means like verbal, printed materials, films, pictures, works of art, radio, television, electronic media, Internet etc… Furthermore, every citizen is free to seek, receive information and ideas through any media anywhere in the world.

2.2. Freedom of Speech, of the Press and the Right to be Informed according to the Law of SRV
2.2.1. SRV Constitution
SRV has signed and ratified the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1982. In its Constitution of 1992, freedom of thought, expression and the press is specified in Art. 69:

Art. 69 (Const. 92: SRV Constitution of 1992): The citizen shall enjoy freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of the press, the right to be informed, and the right to assemble, form associations and hold demonstrations in accordance with the provisions of the law.

Even though freedom of speech, of the press, the rights to be informed, to assemble, to form associations and hold demonstrations are mentioned in the article, the realization of these freedoms and rights are however regulated „ in accordance with the provisions of the law“.


For instance, „conducting propaganda against the SRVis regulated in Art. 88 of SRV’s Penal Code:
PENAL CODE - SECT 88
Article 88.- Conducting propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

1. Those who commit one of the following acts against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shall be sentenced to between three and twelve years of imprisonment:

a) Propagating against, distorting and/or defaming the people’s administration;

b) Propagating psychological warfare and spreading fabricated news in order to foment confusion among people;

c) Making, storing and/or circulating documents and/or cultural products with contents against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

2. In the case of committing less serious crimes, the offenders shall be sentenced to between ten and twenty years of imprisonment.
Through the provisions, expressions with contents “propagating against, distorting and/or defaming the people’s administration“ or ”propagating psychological warfare and spreading fabricated news in order to foment confusion among people as well as acts of ”making, storing and/or circulating documents and/or cultural products with contents against the SRV are liable to penalty „up to twenty years“ of prison.
The provisions were promulgated since 1999 but law experts in Vietnam are unable to understand what is meant by „propagating against, distorting and/or defaming the people’s administration“, or which expressions would be accused of being „propagating psychological warfare and spreading fabricated news in order to foment confusion among people” and which documents, publications are with contents against the SRV?
Thus Art. 88 of Penal Law of SRV give the Executive and Jucidiary Branches immense power allowing them to convict the citizens arbitrarily.

On the other hand, the right to participate into problems of common interest is defined in Art. 53 of SRV Constitution: “The citizen has the right to participate in the administration of the State and management of society, the discussion of problems of the country and the region;”



The right to participate in the discussion of common problems of the country includes the right to investigate the underlying cause(s) of the problems, if contributory opinions can help solve the problems at all. From the original causes of the problems to the related causes such as shortcomings, personnel and agency involved in the problems ... all must be discussed and analyzed. Without discussion and analysis of the shortcomings, personnel or agency involved, the thing no longer has the character of „discussion of problems“. It’s rather „leaving the problems as they are“!

§ a Art. 88 of SRV Penal Law accusing critics of the Government as propagating against, distorting and/or defaming the people’s administrationviolates not only Art. 18 and 19 of ICCPR. It even contradicts Art. 53 of SRV Constitution.


§ c Art. 88 accusing the act of making, storing and/or circulating documents and/or cultural products with contents against the SRV contradicts entirely Art. 69 of SRV Constitution, namely The citizen shall enjoy freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of the press …. “
Art. 146 of SRV Constitution reads:
“The Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is the fundamental law of the State and has the highest legal effect. All other legal documents must conform to the Constitution.”
Art. 69 of the Constitution combined with Art. 88 of SRV Penal Law constitute a violation of the SRV Constitution and betray the spirit of the UN Charta and represent flagrant Human Rights violations.
All articles in the Constitution contain the provisionin accordance with the provisions of the law“. Under Art. 146, this is clearly unconstitutional.
All acts of law, decrees which contain the provisionpropagating against, distorting and/or defaming the people’s administrationormaking, storing and/or circulating documents and/or cultural products with contents against the SRV“ violate not only the UN Charta, the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). They also violate the very constitution of SRV.

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