Parliamentary question by Maurizio Turco (NI),Marco Pannella (NI),Marco Cappato (NI),Benedetto Della Vedova (NI),Gianfranco Dell'Alba (NI) and Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission and answer given by Mr. Patten on behalf of the Commission
WRITTEN QUESTION E-2182/03
by Maurizio Turco (NI), Marco Pannella (NI), Marco Cappato (NI), Benedetto Della Vedova (NI), Gianfranco Dell'Alba (NI) and Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission
(19 June 2003)
Subject: Violation of freedom of expression in Vietnam
The Misna news agency reported on 18 June that the Vietnamese doctor Phan Hong Son had been sentenced to 13 years' imprisonment, followed by an additional 3 years' house arrest, for collecting information and documents issued by a foreign country to use them against the Socialist State of Vietnam. The doctor was arrested on 27 March 2002 after having translated, and sent to Vietnamese friends and officials, an article entitled "What is democracy?" which he had found on the US State Department's Internet site. Furthermore Dr Son had written, and published on the web, an open letter protesting against the fact that his house had been searched and his computer confiscated.
In view of the foregoing:
- What information does the Commission have concerning the case of Dr Phan Hong Son?
- What type of pressure does the Commission intend to bring to bear on the Hanoi Government to obtain the immediate release of Dr Phan Hong Song, who is guilty only of having translated into his own language, and circulated, a document about democracy?
- More generally, what type of initiative does the Commission intend to take to dissuade the Vietnamese Government from continuing to take action (such as abolishing the right to freedom of expression) in flagrant breach of the international agreements to which Vietnam subscribes and the spirit and letter of the cooperation agreement between Vietnam and the EU?
Answer given by Mr. Patten
on behalf of the Commission
(31 July 2003)
The Commission is well aware of the trial and verdict against Dr. Son. The Presidency and the Commission had formally requested access to the trial of 18 June 2003. Local representatives of the Commission Delegation in Hanoi and of some Member States along with representatives of other diplomatic missions were present at the court building but were denied access. An appropriate reaction is currently under consideration.
The case of Dr. Son reflects the difficulty which the Vietnamese authorities have in dealing with what is perceived as opposition to the State and the Communist Party in a society unaccustomed to public dissent. Vietnam needs more rapid progress in its reform programme, including on governance, so that the administration could learn to deal with a wider range of views and appreciate the value of accommodating dissent in the system of government. The Commission has defined the promotion of good governance, best administrative practices and a properly functioning judiciary system as priorities for co-operation with Vietnam under the Country Strategy 2002 - 2006. The Commission believes that its co-operation programme, especially through its specific support for institutional and administrative reforms as well as the inclusion of governance related training activities into all co-operation projects will contribute to strengthen Vietnam's overall governance and human rights commitments.
The Commission's overall policy towards Vietnam is to encourage and support progress on human rights and democratisation, and to rise concerns where abuses occur or where a deterioration in the situation becomes evident. The Commission works closely with the Member States to monitor human rights developments in the country supporting démarches to the Government of Vietnam on human rights issues, including those pertaining to the situation of Persons of Concern. The Commission’s Delegation in Hanoi, together with the diplomatic missions of the Member States, will continue to follow closely the human rights situation in Vietnam and take appropriate action.
Members and contributors 2013
|Giuseppe R. Roma||590 €|
|Salvatore P. Capistrello||200 €|
|Giancarlo B. Torino||30 €|
|Marco B. Merano||20 €|
|Davide B. Prato||50 €|
|Giuseppe P. Grottammare||50 €|
|Maurizio T. Roma||1.000 €|
|Rosa A. Firenze||590 €|
|Giuliano G. Sondrio||590 €|
|Sergio Pasquale R. Cremona||500 €|
|Total SUM||326.746 €|
Online Donations 2013
Brussels AntennaEuropean parliamentPenelop FaulknerresolutionVietnamVo Van AiEuropean Parliament condemns violations of human rights, freedom of expression, religion and assembly in Vietnam
Brussels Antennafreedom of expressionVietnamReport: "Vietnam: Bloggers and Netizens behind bars"
VietnamVietnam: Pannella and Perduca write to the Thai Ambassador in Rome to complain about the canceling of a Press Conference schedule at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand
VietnamVIETNAM PROHIBITS ITALIAN MEP AND MP VISIT
Vo Van AiOn Blair in Vietnam
05/08/2010Security Forces Cut Phone Calls Reporting Human Rights Violations from Central Highlands
Kok KsorMontagnard Foundation Addresses the Italian Parliament: Help Needed to Stop Vietnam's Ethnic Cleansing Against the Degar Montagnard People
12/26/2008MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS' SPOKESMAN MR.LE DZUNG ANSWERS QUESTION ON 25 DECEMBER 2008
Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affair
05/30/2010 Burma Cambodia Italy Laos Montagnard Vietnam General Council: Approved Resolution on South East Asia
06/26/2008 Civil Rights QUESTIONS (EP) EP, Write question, Detention-without-charge in the UK
01/17/2008 LETTERS Vietnam Nomination of Venerable Thich Quang Do for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize
10/01/2007 Chechnya QUESTIONS (EP) OSCE's Exclusion of Nongovernmental Organizations, a Violation of the Helsinki Principles