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HomeAsiaActivists Alarmed by Vietnam Rights Council Re-Election Bid — Radio Free Asia

Activists Alarmed by Vietnam Rights Council Re-Election Bid — Radio Free Asia

International human rights groups are calling on Vietnam to address its poor record on basic freedoms before seeking reelection as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2026-2028 term.

During a meeting in Geneva, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son announced Vietnam’s intention to run again and asked for support from other countries. Son currently leads Vietnam’s delegation for the 2023-2025 term.

Josef Benedict, civil space research officer for CIVICUS, expressed surprise at Vietnam’s decision to seek reelection, citing the country’s appalling human rights record and closed civil space status.

CIVICUS, in a report from Dec. 2023, classified Vietnam as one of the eight countries in Asia with closed civil spaces, highlighting government repression of activists and journalists.

Benedict urged Vietnam to repeal restrictive laws, release detained activists, and stop harassing them if they are serious about seeking reelection.

Human Rights Watch’s Phil Robertson criticized Vietnam’s past performance on the UN Human Rights Council, stating that the country should not be allowed to run for reelection due to its rights violations.

An anonymous activist in Hanoi questioned the credibility of the UN Human Rights Council with Vietnam as a member and called on the international community to be more discerning in selecting council members.

Despite past objections, Vietnam has continued to repress dissidents and activists, with dozens imprisoned for exercising basic human rights.

Leading environmental campaigners have also been imprisoned on questionable charges, adding to Vietnam’s tally of political prisoners, according to Human Rights Watch.

Translated by RFA Vietnamese. Edited by Mike Firn and Elaine Chan.


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