OHCHR / VIET NAM HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

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17-Dec-2021 00:02:38
UN Human Rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani spoke about the harsh sentencing of human rights and land rights defenders convicted of spreading anti-State propaganda in Viet Nam. UNTV CH

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STORY: OHCHR / VIET NAM HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
TRT: 02:38
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH/NATS

DATELINE: 17 DECEMBER 2021 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1. Wide shot, podium briefing room
2. Med shot, podium briefing room
3. Wide Shot, podium briefing room & camera
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“In the span of three days this week, four prominent human rights defenders – Trinh Ba Phoung, Nguyen Thi Tam, Do Nam Trung and independent author Pham Doan Trang were sentenced to up to ten years in jail and five years on probation under articles 88 and 117 of Viet Nam's Criminal Code, all following prolonged pre-trial detention. Trinh was sentenced to ten years in prison and five on probation; Nguyen to six in prison and three on probation; Do to ten years in jail and four on probation; and Pham to nine years’ imprisonment.”
5. Wide shot, podium
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The charges against these five people, who were reporting on human rights and land rights and who were arrested in 2020 and 2021, appear to be part of a campaign to silence and intimidate those who raise their voices in defence of human rights.”
7. Med shot, Podium briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“All the cases follow similar worrying patterns that raise serious issues concerning the presumption of innocence, the legality of their detention, and the fairness of their trial.”
9. Wide Shot, Podium briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“There is prolonged incommunicado pre-trial detention, prosecution under the vaguely worded offence of ‘spreading anti-State propaganda’, denial of access to legal counsel and closed trials that do not respect international fair trial standards.”
11. Wide Shot, Podium briefing room and participants
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We also call on the Government to repeal all legal provisions that violate fundamental freedoms. The articles of the criminal code under which these charges were brought are vague and overly broad and thereby inconsistent with international human rights norms.”
12. Wide shot, podium
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Cases of this kind contribute to a climate of self-censorship in the country and have a chilling effect on media freedom. They also prevent people from exercising their fundamental rights and engaging in public debate on issues of importance.”
14. Wide Shot, Podium briefing room


STORYLINE:

UN Human Rights spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani spoke about the harsh sentencing of human rights and land rights defenders convicted of spreading anti-State propaganda in Viet Nam.

SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“In the span of three days this week, four prominent human rights defenders – Trinh Ba Phoung, Nguyen Thi Tam, Do Nam Trung and independent author Pham Doan Trang were sentenced to up to 10 years in jail and 5 years on probation under articles 88 and 117 of Viet Nam's Criminal Code, all following prolonged pre-trial detention. Trinh was sentenced to 10 years in prison and five on probation; Nguyen to six in prison and three on probation; Do to 10 years in jail and four on probation; and Pham to nine years’ imprisonment.”

Journalist Le Trong Hung, who had announced his intention to run for political office as an independent, is facing trial on 31 December on similar charges. He has been held since March 2021, without access to a lawyer and without being allowed to meet his family.

SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“The charges against these five people, who were reporting on human rights and land rights and who were arrested in 2020 and 2021, appear to be part of a campaign to silence and intimidate those who raise their voices in defence of human rights.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“All the cases follow similar worrying patterns that raise serious issues concerning the presumption of innocence, the legality of their detention, and the fairness of their trial.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“There is prolonged incommunicado pre-trial detention, prosecution under the vaguely worded offence of ‘spreading anti-State propaganda’, denial of access to legal counsel and closed trials that do not respect international fair trial standards.”

Ravina Shamdasani urged the authorities in Viet Nam to immediately release all these individuals as well as the many others arbitrarily detained for exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression.

SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“We also call on the Government to repeal all legal provisions that violate fundamental freedoms. The articles of the criminal code under which these charges were brought are vague and overly broad and thereby inconsistent with international human rights norms.”

SOUNDBITE (English) Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR):
“Cases of this kind contribute to a climate of self-censorship in the country and have a chilling effect on media freedom. They also prevent people from exercising their fundamental rights and engaging in public debate on issues of importance.”
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