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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Vietnam - June 2023

Continuing suppression of dissent

Vietnamese authorities arrested and detained prominent environmentalist and climate change campaigner Hoang Thi Minh Hong on 1 June for alleged tax evasion charges. Several staff members from founder Hong's non-governmental organization CHANGE were also detained but subsequently released. Human rights experts note Hong's arrest is part of a broader trend of targeting free speech and restricting civic space, with Hong's case marking the fifth prominent environmental defender arrested for tax evasion in the past two years. The United Nations states that at least 20 activists and human rights defenders have been arrested under wrongful charges in the past year, calling into question the independence of the judiciary. Human Rights Watch has furthermore criticized Vietnam's use of the vaguely worded and flawed tax used in targeting human rights activists, adding that most of the persecutions are politically motivated. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 150 political prisoners are being held in Vietnam for exercising free speech.

Sources: United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, The Guardian, Mongabay, Human Rights Watch, The Diplomat

Primary categories and factors
Rights 0 Rights  (0)
Civil Liberties
Freedom of Expression
Rule of Law 0 Rule of Law  (0)
Judicial Independence
Participation 0 Participation  (0)
Civil Society

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