Việt Nam: Joint Submission for Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights Abuses

Ahead of the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Việt Nam that is taking place in Geneva next year, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Freedom House, and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights (RFKHR), submitted a joint report, with the support of Covington & Burling LLP.

The report provides a detailed account of human rights violations carried out by the Vietnamese government against journalists. These actions have had a profound impact on the freedom of the press, creating a climate of fear. The infringements involve a range of offenses, including targeted killings, threats, and mistreatment, which often result in journalists being detained under conditions that amount to cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment. The legal proceedings used to target these journalists are built upon allegations of criminal incitement and anti-state charges, and frequently involve violations of due process, eroding their right to a fair trial.

The recent introduction of cybersecurity laws has further intensified the limitations on press freedom. These laws impose restrictions on internet accessibility and amplify government censorship of online content. The Vietnamese government has significantly extended its control over internet and social media platforms, resulting in a considerable decline in both press freedom and the ability of journalists and human rights defenders to freely express themselves.

In the report, CPJ, Freedom House and RFKHR called on the Government to release the arbitrarily detained journalists, cease the mistreatment of those in custody, and ensure their rights to a fair trial and the right to appeal. Additionally, they urged a thorough review of ambiguous and excessively broad laws that are misused to incarcerate journalists, and requested to repeal the cybersecurity regulations that facilitate online information censorship.

Việt Nam will undergo the UPR from 29 April to 10 May 2024 as part of the 46th session of the Universal Periodic Review Working Group in Geneva. To read the full submission, please see below:

Read the full submission here.