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VN denies claims of mistreatment

Update: September, 10/2011 - 09:30

HA NOI — Foreign ministry spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga yesterday said that rehabilitation centres for prostitutes and drug addicts reflected the nation's humanitarian policies, and she refuted claims made by Human Rights Watch that the centres constituted unfair treatment.

She told reporters here yesterday that a recent ill-intentioned Human Rights Watch report was based on ungrounded and false information.

Viet Nam's policies on this matter were in line with policies of the World Health Organisation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse under the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Viet Nam does not treat drug addicts as criminals, and the procedures by which they are admitted to rehabilitation centres must be in strict accordance with the law and regulations, Nga said.

Drug addicts have a negative influence on communities and society, and drug addiction is detrimental to a person's health and behaviour, Nga said. Rehabilitation centres support addicts in the recovery of their health and realising the dangers of drug dependency, while providing them with vocational training and studies.

People in the centres receive payment for work they perform during their rehabilitation, and the centre also aids them into their subsequent reintegration into society, she added.

As to the UN's suggestion that Viet Nam reassess its management of drugs addicts and prostitutes, Nga said Viet Nam and the UN have already been co-operating closely in related prevention work. These persons were entitled to fair treatment under the law at rehabilitation centres and elsewhere, she affirmed.

New Delhi bombings

Viet Nam has strongly condemned the deadly bomb blast outside the High Court in the Indian capital of New Delhi on Wednesday morning.

The statement was made by spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga yesterday while answering questions from reporters on Viet Nam's reaction to the incident which left dozens of people dead and hundreds injured.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the Indian Government, people and families of the victims and believe that perpetrators will be strictly punished," Nga said. — VNS

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