France condemns the heavy prison sentences handed down on 9 January to 14 human rights defenders by the People’s Court of Nghe An Province in Vietnam. Several similar decisions have been taken by the Vietnamese authorities in recent months.
Such decisions are a serious attack on human rights, particularly the freedom of opinion and expression and the freedom of association. France recalls that these rights and freedoms are guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Vietnam is party. She also notes that ASEAN has just adopted a declaration on human rights, aimed at ensuring full respect for them in Asia.