Statement on the Conviction of 14 Redemptorist Bloggers in Nghe An Province
January 9, 2013
We are deeply troubled by reports that the People’s Court of Nghe An Province convicted 14 Catholic Redemptorist bloggers on charges related to their exercise of their rights to freedom of expression. These bloggers were convicted of “subversion of the administration” (Article 79) and sentenced to prison terms ranging from 3-13 years.
These convictions, along with the detention of human rights lawyer and blogger Le Quoc Quan since December 27, 2012 and the upholding of sentences against bloggers Nguyen Van Hai (also known as Dieu Cay), Ta Phong Tan, and Phan Thanh Hai, are part of a disturbing human rights trend in Vietnam.
The government’s treatment of these individuals appears to be inconsistent with Vietnam’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights relating to freedom of expression and due process. We call on the government to release these individuals and all other prisoners of conscience immediately.