Vietnam: Labour Rights Advocates Jailed



Three Vietnamese labour rights advocates face 5-15 years imprisonment for helping organise a strike by 10,000 workers at the My Phong shoe factory in January 2010.  Doan Huy Chuong, Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung and Do Thi Minh Hanh, all in their 20s, have been detained virtually incommunicado since their arrests in February.  The trial is expected in late October 2010.


The “crimes” alleged by prosecutors are that Doan Huy Chung, Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung and Do Thi Minh Hanh worked in an organised manner, distributed leaflets expressing discontent about working conditions and about authorities, and helped workers to organise a strike.  All of these activities ought to be legal, under Vietnam’s own Constitution and in international instruments to which Vietnam is a signatory.  The charges that they encouraged workers to destroy factory properties are without evidence and appear made up.


A court has sentenced the above labour activists to 7, 9 and 7 years respectively.


Amnesty International immediately condemned the sentencing of these campaigners, and an increasing number of unions around the world are sending formal protest letters to the Vietnamese authorities.


Their families are pleading with overseas unions and others to help, writing that “They are innocent…they did the right thing and it was not illegal….From a strong and healthy young man, Hung was physically beaten into a sick and weak man…we have lost our trust (in Vietnam’s regime’s justice system)…we cannot find justice in Vietnam”

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