HRW, Al Jazeera must have objective view on human rights in Vietnam

HRW, Al Jazeera must have objective view on human rights in Vietnam (Illustrative image. Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Human Rights Watch
(HRW) and the Al Jazeera TV channel have provided inaccurate information with a
lack of objectivity and goodwill about the human rights situation in Vietnam,
especially freedom of speech and freedom of internet.

A report released by the HRW on June 19 and a
report aired on the Al Jazeera TV channel on June 24 said that “Vietnamese bloggers
and democracy activists are threatened and beaten”. The HRW also listed “36
different assaults from January 2015 to April 2017”.

In fact, the reports were based on fabricated
and groundless information because the international community has recognised
Vietnam’s achievements in ensuring and promoting human rights, including
freedom of speech and freedom of press.

Ensuring and promoting human rights is a
consistent policy of the Vietnamese State, which has been implemented in line
with Vietnam’s Constitution and law as well as international conventions on
human rights to which Vietnam is a party.

From 2014 to 2016, dozens of legal documents
relating to human rights and citizen rights were adopted to concretise
regulations stipulated in the Constitution 2013, in accordance with international
conventions to which Vietnam is a party.

Vietnam has joined the Convention against
Torture (CAT) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
and has been an official party to seven out of nine major UN conventions on
human rights.

The country has also actively implemented
international missions and commitments on human rights by well assuming the
role as a member of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in
the 2016-2018 tenure and the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in the 2015-2019 tenure, while proactively
and responsibly participating in the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on
Human Rights (AICHR).

Vietnam’s important achievements in improving
human rights are vivid evidence of the efforts. The country’s per capita income
increased to 2,215 USD in 2016 from 1,900 USD in 2013. The number of people
receiving monthly social allowances and health insurance cards has been on the
rise while more than 25 percent of communes nationwide have met standards for
new-style rural area building.

The country has paid due attention to the social
security and welfare work. Social welfare policies have been carried out to
remove difficulties for local residents in areas affected by natural disasters,
droughts, and saltwater intrusion, as well as those in four central provinces influenced
by the marine environmental incident last year. Social organisations and people
have been increasingly involved in the inspection and monitoring of State law
and policy enforcement. More favourable conditions have been created to
facilitate activities of religious organisations.

The strong development of the Vietnamese press in
the recent past also demonstrated that the freedom of speech and freedom of
press in Vietnam have been guaranteed not only in law but also in reality. The
Press Law 2016 officially took effect on January 1, 2017, serving as a
foundation to ensure these rights.

Specially, the internet is booming in Vietnam and
Vietnam is listed among 20 nations with the largest number of Internet users,
ranking 8th in Asia and 2nd in ASEAN. Citizens use the Internet to show their
rights to freedom of speech. Currently, about 50 million Vietnamese people use
the Internet, making up 52 percent of the country’s total population. The
number of Facebook users amounts to 35 million, equivalent to one-third of the
population, including 21 million users access everyday via mobile devices.

President and Managing Director of Google in Southeast Asia and India Rajan
Anandan affirmed that Vietnam has the most dynamic Internet market in the world
and is the only market with the number of Internet users higher than the number
of non-users.

These figures indicate freedom of speech and
freedom of press in Vietnam. There is no
reason why the HRW and the Al Jazeera TV channel did not understand these
facts. The HRW and Al Jazeera even sought to distort reality without
distinguishing the difference between genuine bloggers and those using social
websites to propagandise against the Vietnamese Party and State and harm the
interests of the Vietnamese people.

Vietnam is resolved to deal with law violators.
In Vietnam, nobody has been handled for writing blogs or articles. Only those
who abuse freedom of press, freedom of speech and freedom of Internet to create
social disorder, resist the State and people or go counter to the national
interests are strictly punished.

Those who have been arrested and brought to
trial in the recent past have abused freedom of speech to post articles with untrue
information, defaming the Party’s guidelines and policies and the State’s law,
distorting history and inciting people to oppose the State, and undermining national
security, social order and safety.

All sovereign nations across the world have laws
to strictly deal with those who take unfair advantage of freedom of speech and
freedom of press to resist their countries and provoke hatred and violence.

Internet managers or social websites such as
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have put in place measures to control wrong and fake
contents posted online. Even, Facebook was once sued by several European nations
such as Austria, France and Germany and fined for spreading online contents
that incite hatred and distort the truth. The HRW and Al Jazeera could not claim
that “freedom of speech” allows one to “change black to white” to distort the

That the Vietnamese State respects and ensures
human rights is undeniable and has been recognised by the international
community. Therefore, the HRW and Al Jazeera TV channel need to have an
objective and correct view on the human rights situation in Vietnam.-VNA

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