Despite efforts of the State of Vietnam, there are still several people and organizations holding hostile views against Vietnam, misinforming other people and even purposefully distorting, for their own ends, information about the situation of human rights in Vietnam. They have done that intentionally, aiming at undermining the image of Vietnam in the international arena. This is in turn hinders Vietnam in protecting and promoting human rights in the country.

1. Among those “singing out of tune” is the US-based Human Right Watch (HRW). In its World Report 2018, HRW concocted the story that Vietnam practiced human right abuse in 2017. The report falsified the information, claiming that about 119 “human right and religious activists” were jailed and at least 24 bloggers were sentenced for their writings that called for democracy.  In the same tune, HRW said that in the last 14 months, the police of Vietnam arrested at least 28 people accusing them of “violating the national security”, “carrying out propaganda schemes against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam”, “carrying out plots to overthrow the people’s power”, including former “prisoners of conscience” and “human right prisoners.” HRW argued that those people only practiced their “peaceful expression of opinions”, not violating the law and called for Vietnam to release them.

All people are equal before law. No one is subject to discriminatory treatment in political, civil, economic, cultural or social life. (Photo for illustration:

We all know that Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, Tran Thi Nga, Phan Kim Khanh, and others, used their Facebook accounts to post writings containing falsified information about the Party and State of Vietnam. The information aimed to distort the revolutionary history of Vietnam and try to split the great national unity bloc so as to undermine the prestige of the Party and its leadership and the State governance. Their acts have caused great irritation and embarrassment to the Vietnamese people.

Article 16 of the 2013 Constitution of Vietnam reads, “All people are equal before law. No one is subject to discriminatory treatment in political, civil, economic, cultural or social life.” The Constitution also prescribes equal legal proceedings for all people tried under the laws of Vietnam. When building the legal system, Vietnam has always paid special attention to legally translating provisions into its laws reflecting international conventions that Vietnam joined. In due deference to the protection of the people’s rights to freedoms and democracy, Vietnam has never let any individuals or organizations take advantage of those rights to infringe the law.

As we can see, this pitiable so-called report on “the situation of human rights in Vietnam” by HRW, is deplorably behind the times and contains hostile plots against the State and people of Vietnam. The “concerns” that HRW said are only the covers for the intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of Vietnam, purposefully creating misconceptions and sowing the seeds of instability into the soil of Vietnam.

2. HRW claims that those sentenced Vietnamese under the accusation of “violating the national security” expressed their opinions peacefully and did not violate the law. It also called on Vietnam to release those people.

The State of Vietnam has affirmed, and reaffirmed, a number of times now, that there is nobody under arrest in Vietnam for “political dissent” or “peaceful expression of opinions.” Only those who violate the law are arrested and tried before the law. There is nothing called “oppression of political dissident” in Vietnam as HRW claims.

The fact is Vietnam has achieved various important results in protecting and promoting human rights, which have been recognized and highly valued by the United Nations. Those achievements took deep root from the humanitarian tradition, love for peace, wishes and willpower of the whole Vietnamese people in carrying out these consistent policies of the State. These consistent policies are created to build a society that always places the people at the center of its development policies and a socialist rule-of-law State of the people, by the people and for the people.

Respect for and implementation of human rights are part of the consistent guidelines and policies of the Party and State of Vietnam, which have been manifested clearly in the great achievements of the “doi moi” (renewal) period of the Party, State and people of Vietnam; in the completion of the legal system and the assurance for the implementation of the civil, political, socio-economic and cultural rights of the people. Particularly, advances in the realm of human rights made up one of the decisive factors that helped Vietnam be elected with a very high number of votes to the UN Council of Human Rights (184/192 ‘Yes’ votes), becoming one of the 14 newly-elected members to the council in 2013.

The above achievements and facts are as clear as daylight; however, HRW still keeps its obsolete and as-old-as-the-hills opinion of discrimination about the building of socialism, the Vietnam Communist Party and the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. As a watchdog of human rights, HRW, however, has more than once gave wrongful opinions and distorted information to misinform the world that Vietnam oppresses dissidents and hinders democracy. The groundless information and demands of HRW, have, in fact caused harm to Vietnam, backing the activities of forces that are seeking to sabotage the development of this nation. By fabricating these accusations, HRW has brazenly intervened in the domestic affairs of Vietnam. The Party, State and people of Vietnam, therefore, resolutely denounce and object to those unfriendly and wrongful assignations of HRW.

Written by Ngoc Minh

Translated by Thanh Giang