Vietnam Parliament May Delay Approval of Bills on Association, Penal Code
Defend the Defenders
October 30, 2016
Vietnam’s legislative body National Assembly (NA) may not approve the draft laws on association and the amended and supplemented Penal Code in the ongoing second session from October 20 to November 19. During discussions on October 25-26, many legislators said the two bills are not ready for approval and needed further improvements from Ministries of Home Affairs and Justice, respectively.
Prior to the opening session of the parliament, many international human rights organizations and independent and government-organised civil society groups in the country urged the parliament not to pass the bills because they were built to limit universal human rights and tighten government control over citizens.
Prominent blogger and human rights defender Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh has not been allowed to meet with her lawyers weeks after her detention on October 10 on allegation of conducting anti-state propaganda under Article 88 of the Penal Code. Her mother said she is very concerned about Quynh’s health because the detained activist declared that she would conduct hunger strike in police custody until meets with her lawyers.
Vietnam has continued its violent wave against local dissidents, social activists and human rights defenders. On October 26, authorities in the central province of Ha Tinh sent thugs and plainclothes agents to attack members of a charity group from the Brotherhood of Democracy and Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam. On the same day, Hanoi-based activist Ngoc Anh was beaten by a group of thugs due to his activities aiming to protect the country’s sovereignty and environment.