Media Release Viet Labor 01st March 2013

Chương-Hùng-Hạnh: UN wants them freed, their torture investigated, and rejects Hanoi’s ‘domestic law’ argument

Viet Labor 01st March 2013: Chương, Hùng, and Hạnh are among people jailed in Vietnam for advocating for workers’ rights. The United Nations’ Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has just formally stated that they should be freed and compensated, and that the UN’s Special Rapporteur on torture should investigate their torture. Significantly for Vietnam’s thousands of prisoners of conscience, WGAD reiterated that Hanoi’s use of the ‘domestic laws’ argument is unacceptable because such laws allowing jailing prisoners of conscience are invalid.

UN HHH pic

The WGAD made the above conclusions in its document “Opinion No. 42/2012” after receiving a submission last year from Chương, Hùng, and Hạnh’s families represented by US law firm Woodley and McGillivary and assisted by Freedom Now, and a submission from Canadian lawyer Lâm Chấn Thọ on behalf of Viet Labor, plus defence arguments by Vietnam.

A copy of the WGAD document can be found at Some notable extracts:

29. Regarding the alleged violation of national legislation referred to by the  Government, namely article 89 of the Vietnamese Penal Code, the Working Group in its  previous opinions No. 46/2011 (Viet Nam), No. 1/2009 (Viet Nam), and No. 1/2003 (Viet  Nam), reiterated is required to ensure that national  law is consistent with the..Universal  Declaration of Human Rights.. Consequently, even if the detention is in conformity with  national legislation, the Working Group must ensure that it is also consistent law.

30. In its response, the Government does not address the specific allegations of grave  violations..that petitioners were deprived of the right to communicate with  counsel..that the petitioners did not have defence lawyers present at  the trial and were not allowed to speak in their defence.

Note: Viet Labor (Free Viet Labor Federation, is a federation of labor rights groups inside and outside Vietnam, currently: Viet Labor Movement, United Workers-Farmers Organization, and the Committee to Protect Vietnamese Workers.


MR LDV ChuongHungHanh- UN WGAD wants freed, torture investigated, rejects ‘domestic law’ argument_ 3H 3b28 (1) (pdf)

MR LDV ChuongHungHanh- UN WGAD wants freed, torture investigated, rejects ‘domestic law’ argument_ 3H 3b28 (1) (Word)

DOC UN WGAD Opinion No 42_2012 (Viet Nam)_ 3H 3b28