April 25, 2019
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HRW calls for immediate release of political prisoners in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Nov 3 (efe-epa).- Human Rights Watch Friday urged the Communist regime in Vietnam to immediately release all those imprisoned for exercising their rights peacefully and reported that over 100 people have been jailed in the country for political or religious reasons.

The human rights group asked world leaders, who will be attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang in central Vietnam on Nov. 6-11, to ask Vietnamese authorities to stop persecuting dissidents.

"(...) foreign officials in the country for APEC should not turn a blind eye to the over 100 political prisoners those very same leaders have put behind bars," said Brad Adams, HRW's Asia director.

Adams warned that while Vietnam is warmly welcoming foreign delegations arriving in the country for the summit, the country's authorities "are intensifying their crackdown on anyone with the courage to speak up for human rights and democracy."

In the last year, the police have arrested at least 28 people for criticizing the authorities, according to the HRW.

A 24-year-old student blogger became one of the latest political prisoners in Vietnam after being sentenced to six years in jail on Oct. 25 for "conducting propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam."

Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights and other organizations have also been asking the Communist regime in Vietnam to put an end to arbitrary imprisonment of activists and bloggers and called for the release of all political prisoners.

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