Vietnam CSOs’ Open Letter to 132th Congress of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Hanoi (Mar 28 – Apr 1, 2015)

By principles of promoting human rights, we ask you, delegates of IPU, would strongly demand Communist Party Politburo to stop controlling VNA, amending the Constitution and laws to meet the standards of international human rights.

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FVPoC | Mar 22, 2015
Translation by Trang Thien Long

To:       Delegates of Inter-Parliamentary Union in Hanoi

ATTN:             Vietnamese fellows in and outside of the country

Democratic governments and International Human Rights Organizations

Dear Ladies/Gentlemen

We, Vietnam independent civil society organizations, know that IPU is to protect and promote Human Rights because Human Rights are the core element of building democracy in Parliamentary and development for any country. We also know that UN Human Rights Council passed Resolution, dated Jun 23, 2014, about the importance of IPU’s protection of Human rights. We completely support all that.

Unfortunately, The National Assembly of the Republic of Socialist Vietnam, under the leadership of dictatorship Vietnam Communist Party (VCP), is just a shield for the Communist Party’s Human Rights abuses. Indeed:

  1. a) In the past: The current Vietnam National Assembly (VNA) XII (and all the previous ones) has formed from a bogus election. All the candidates are members or sympathizers of Communist Party and introduced by Vietnamese Fatherland Front (VFF). No independent candidates can be got in without VFF approval – an affiliate of VCP. Our people satirically call it as “party nominates, people votes”, and “representatives of voters” are called as “representatives of party”, because they are never elected freely and not represented for the people. In addition, the votings of National Assembly with five-year term are always compulsory to citizens. Anyone does not go to vote will face many difficulties in life with the authorities. As the result, the high rate of voting always reaches 95% to 100%.
  2. b) In activities: Because of being the members of and getting favor from the VCP the VNA members always obey orders of the Party, serving the rule of the Party. So they never protect and promote Human Rights. We would give some examples to illustrate:

–  On Nov 28, 2013 President of VNA Nguyen Sinh Hung declared that the new Constitution was legalized from Communist Party’s platform with 486 votes favorable out of 488. This approval has trampled on the goodwill of all democratic comments of the people on the draft of the new constitution.

Although the chapter II of the new constitution, from the Article 14 to Article 49 is for “Human Rights, Rights and Basic duties of citizens”, it depends on or exactly in other words, it is overwhelmed by the exclusive and privilege right of Communist Party. That are the exclusive rights of Party on ruling (Article 4), possession of natural resources (Article 54), media network (Article 96), armed forces (Article 65); education (Article 96); culture (Article 4 says Marxism – Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thoughts are the foundation of thoughts) and economy (Article 51 states that state-owned enterprises play the decisive role)

Now, all the people not only do not have the right of revision to the new Constitution but also being forced to accept, learn and abide that Constitution.

– VNA, under the leadership of the Communist Party, also drafted and ratified the laws against the wish of the people such as Press Law, Education Law, Land Law, Criminal Code, etc. The amended and supplemented Press Law in 1999 completely stifled freedom of speech, prohibiting private press in any form. Education Law in 2005 stipulates Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh thoughts to be taught as compulsory subjects to all citizens, banning all private schools, except kindergarten, run by the religion organizations. The Land Law in 2003 totally denies the ownership of the land of the people, only for right of using land, aiming at possessing all natural resources in the hands of Communist Party. Criminal Code in 2013 with Article 79 “overthrowing state”, Article 88 “anti-state propaganda”, Article 258 “abusing democratic freedom” is a tool to crack down dissidents.

Thus, where are the political, civil, economic, cultural, social rights that Vietnam authorities guaranteed as signed the International Covenants on Human Rights in 1982?

The number of human rights abuses has occurred countlessly (please see the report “Human Rights Violation2014 of 24 Vietnam CSOs), but VNA’s Human Rights Committee took no action to address.

Dear Delegates,

During 132nd IPU in Hanoi, the ruling Communist propaganda will emphasize with you that VNA is of the people, by the people and for the people, always protecting human rights. We send to you this open letter to make clear the nature and task of VNA: an obedient tool of the Communist Party, a rubber stamp for the Communist authorities.

By principles of promoting human rights, we ask you, delegates of IPU, would strongly demand Communist Party Politburo to stop controlling VNA, amending the Constitution and laws to meet the standards of international human rights.

Sincerely,

Vietnam independent CSOs co-signed:

  1. Bach Dang Giang Foundation: Pham Ba Hai (MBE)
  2. Civil Society Forum: Nguyen Quang A (Ph.D.)
  3. Cao Dai church, Humanism: Mr. Hua Phi.
  4. Evangelical Lutheran Community Church Vietnam-America: Pastor Nguyen Hoang Hoa
  5. Hoa Hao Buddhist Church, Purity: Mr. Le Quang Liem.
  6. Christian Mennonite Church: Pastor Nguye n Manh Hung
  7. Workers Farmers Solidarity Association: Pastor Doan Van Dien
  8. Former Vietnamese Prisoners of Conscience: Dr. Nguyen Dan Que, Catholic Priest Phan Van Loi.
  9. Association to Protect Freedom of Religion: Ms. Ha Thi Van.
  10. Vietnamese Women for Human Rights: Ms.Huynh Thuc Vy, Ms.Tran Thuy Nga, Mrs. Tran Thi Hai
  11. Evangelical Protestant Chuong Bo Church: Pastor Lê Quang Du
  12. Bloc 8406: Priest Phan Van Loi.
  13. Viet Labor: Ms. Do Thi Minh Hanh.
  14. Vietnam Blogger Network: Ms. Nguyen Hoang Vi.
  15. Religion and Ethnic Minority Defenders: Mr. Huynh Trong Hieu.
  16. Nguyen Kim Dien Group: Father Nguyen Huu Giai.
  17. Vietnam Path Movement: Mr. Nguyen Cong Huan.
  18. Oppressed Petitioners Solidarity Movement: Ms. Tran Ngoc Anh.
  19. Justice Peace Office of Vietnam Redemptorists Church, Saigon: Father Dinh Huu Thoai
  20. Delegation of Vietnamese United Buddhists Church: Ven. Thich Khong Tanh.