Since the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) came into power in 1954, the country has intensified its political repression, restricting freedoms of expression, assembly, association, and religion of its citizens. Japan’s Human Rights Watch is asking Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to encourage Vietnam to end immediately it’s crackdown on fundamental human rights.
While Vietnam’s government remains as one of the most repressive in the world, Japan’s Human Rights Watch Director, Kanae Doi is inviting Japan to both use its opportunity and obligation as Vietnam’s largest bilateral donor to speak out about the government’s tyranny. Doi said that Prime Minister Abe should be publicly voicing support to Vietnam’s brave human rights advocates, as remaining silent only encourages the government to continue its repression.
Human Rights Watch urges Prime Minister Abe to raise concerns in a letter on May 25. The letter notes Vietnam’s actions of political repression such as restrictions in basic civil rights as it controls all media in the country and censors the internet and prohibits free and fair elections.
Human Rights Watch reports that the Communist Party of Vietnam inhibits real democratic processes, it’s National Assembly is almost composed of CPV members selected by the party itself. Thus, courts and ministries are all under CPV’s control.
In the letter to Abe, Human Rights Watch reports 140 people are currently held captive by Vietnam for exercising basic freedoms of expression, assembly, and religion. These citizens are reported to be critics of the government, participants of peaceful protests, members of unregistered religious groups, and part of dissident organizations.
As Vietnam intensifies its crackdown on peaceful political activists and continues its deteriorating rights record, Prime Minister Abe is expected to speak up on behalf of Vietnam’s citizens.