Statement of the Vietnam Women’s for Human Rights On the matter : A sentence of 9 years in prison imposed on Ms. Tran Thi Nga

26/07/2017
Statement of the Vietnamese Women for Human Rights

On the matter : A sentence of 9 years in prison imposed on Ms. Tran Thi Nga

On July 25, 2017, Tran Thi Nga was sentenced by the Hà Nam Provincial People’s Court to 9 years in prison on charges of spreading anti-State propaganda under the article 88 of the Penal Code in 2013.

We consider:
1. Charges that the People’s Procuracy of the Hà Nam Provincial People’s Court used to prosecute Ms. Tran Thi Nga are not based on any evidence recognized by law;
2. Evidences against Ms. Tran Thi Nga are ambiguous, circumstantial and speculative therefore can be used to condemn anyone;
3. The trial of Ms. Tran Thi Nga on July 25, 2017 was in serious violation of principles of court proceeding: Ms. Tran Thi Nga’s defense lawyers were prevented from exercising their advocacy function on her behalf in the court, also were not allowed to present the defensive arguement with representatives of the Procuracy;
4. Ms. Tran Thi Nga only exercised her rights and freedom in expressing peacefully her concerns over the problems in Vietnam and this practice, definitely, can not be the basis of any criminal behaviour according to the current law;
5. The sentence of 9 years in prison imposed on Ms. Tran Thi Nga once again proved that the Vietnamese judiciary system has not protected her rights and freedom as provided in the Vietnamese constitution and international conventions, speciafically the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that Vietnam is a signatory party.

With these considerations, the Vietnamese Women’s for Human Rights stated as follows:
1. Completely rejecting the Vietnamese government’s accusation and evidence against Tran Thi Nga.
2. Ms. Tran Thi Nga has the rights to freedom of speech and to equality under the law. Hence, the Vietnamese government must respect these rights as stipulated in the Vietnamese constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
3. Ms. Tran Thi Nga has the right, as stipulated in the Constitution, to exercise her rights and responsibilities as a citizen to address problems existing in the Vietnamese society.
4. The sentence of 9 years in prison imposed on Ms. Tran Thi Nga is completely unlawful and therefore invalid.
5. The Vietnamese government should release Ms. Tran Thi Nga immediately and unconditionally.
6. During the detention, the Vietnamese government must respect the personality and dignity of Ms. Tran Thi Nga and in particular be prohibited from any discriminatory conduct or behavior towards her just because she is women.

Written in Vietnam, July 26, 2017