About 40 members from many localities were present, and some others attended via Skype.
The Congress reviewed the VNHRN's activities in the past two years, discussed the situation of human rights in Vietnam and over the world, and set out strategies and goals for the coming time.
The adopted action plan included the participation of women and young people in human rights activities, the use of modern media in news coverage of human rights and human rights education, and the support for human rights defenders in Vietnam.
The Congress adopted the bylaws amendments so that the Network configuration reflects its reality and the organization development could be achieved successfully.
The Congress elected the Executive Committee and the Supervisory Committee for the 2019-2021 term. The new Executive Committee is composed of Dr. Nguyen Ba Tung, Chair, Mr. Doan The Cuong, vice-chair, Ms. Tam An, secretary general. The new Supervisory Committee is composed of Prof. Nguyen Thanh Trang, Chair, Prof. Do Anh Tai and Ms. Le Thi Kim Thu, members.
The Congress also approved the VNHRN Statement concerning the current human rights situation in Vietnam, as follows:
- For more than 70 years, especially since taking over South Vietnam in 1975, the Communist Government of Vietnam (CGV) has continuously violated the Vietnamese people’s basic rights defined by various international conventions on human rights, which they had signed on and promised to uphold.
- The criminalization of human rights and civil rights activities is increasing. The number of arrests and persecution of people advocating human rights and civil rights in recent years has reached a critical level, especially concerning predetermined heavy sentences.
- In spite of harsh suppressions, movements for human rights continue to spring up. People are determined to overcome their fears and continue to fight to reclaim their deprived human rights and civil rights. The most prominent action in the past two years was the nationwide general demonstration against the Special Economic Zone bill on June 10, 2018.
For the above-mentioned observations, the Vietnam Human Rights Network hereby:
2. Demands Vietnamese Communist authorities to immediately release all activists for human rights and civil rights, end arbitrary arrests and beatings and stop treating human-right and civil-right defenders as criminals threatening national security;
3. Determines to continue providing support and means for domestic individuals and organizations who are making efforts to promote and fight for basic human rights so they can sustain the conviction in their missions;
4. Calls on the international community, especially countries trading with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, to pressure the Vietnamese authorities to implement their international obligations and commitments respecting basic human rights.
5. Vietnam Human Rights Network welcomes all efforts to fight for human rights and civil rights at home and abroad.