Mr Pascal Lamy
World Trade Organization
Rue de Lausanne 153
May 7, 2007
Re: Vietnamese political dissidents to be tried in Hanoi on May 11
I am taking the liberty of writing to you following our meeting with the Suisse-Vietnam Committee. On May 11, the Vietnamese judiciary authorities will put on trial two young lawyers in Hanoi for “abusing democratic freedoms (sic!) and propaganda against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.”
Since joining the World Trade Organization, Hanoi regime has showed an alarming increase in intensive crackdown against political activists. This is evidenced by the case of Catholic priest, Father Nguyen Van Ly who was muzzled during his trial on March 30. The images of this lame trial have been witnessed all over the world. Between November 2006 and end of April 2007, we have been informed of at least 22 arrests of political activists in Vietnam.
We have alerted the Swiss authorities who, we hope, will make sure that international observers will be allowed to attend all the trials of these Vietnamese political dissidents. We have also alerted the Human Rights Council about the numerous violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that Vietnam was a signatory since 1982.
Considering that Vietnam recently joined WTO, we will continue to inform you of all the cases that we are aware. Certainly liberalization of commercial trade will eventually come with an increased democratization; however we would like to take action so that the transition will occur with as few human victims as possible.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.