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Việt Nam has no "prisoners of conscience": MoFA spokesperson

Update: April, 06/2018 - 09:00
Spokesperson for Việt Nam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lê Thị Thu Hằng. — VNA/VNS Photo Phương Hoa
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ regular press conference on April 5, spokesperson Lê Thị Thu Hằng maintained that there are no "prisoners of conscience" in Việt Nam and that no one here is arrested for expressing their beliefs and opinions, but “all illegal activities will be punished by law, just like in every other country.”

Spokesperson Hằng’s remarks addressed the ongoing trial of the six members of the so-called ‘Brotherhood for Democracy’ for their attempts at overthrowing the Government. She refuted the incorrect and unfair accusations from a number of human rights’ groups.

Spokesperson Hằng also reiterated Vietnamese Government’s consistent policies in championing human rights and freedom and said that its achievements have been recognised by international community.

Assistance for victim in Malaysia

The foreign affairs ministry has directed its agencies in Malaysia to provide assistance to the family of a Vietnamese woman who committed suicide at the Vietnamese embassy in Kuala Lampur, spokesperson Hằng said.

She confirmed the incident and said that on April 2, the Vietnamese national Trần Thị Mai arrived at the embassy for visa process, accompanied by an unnamed man. While in the waiting room, Mai displayed “abnormal behaviour” – screaming, breaking the table and producing a knife from her bag to injure herself. Unfortunately, the embassy’s staff and those in the waiting room were unable to intervene in time to save her life.

The woman was immediately hospitalised but died due to serious blood loss, spokesperson Hằng said.

Malaysian police have come to examine the scene, extracted camera footage from the embassy, taken testimony from witnesses and the embassy’s staff and announced that an investigation is underway.

The Vietnamese embassy together with the Vietnamese community in Malaysia have raised enough money to cover the expenses of the funeral and the repatriation of the deceased woman’s body back to her hometown, Hằng said.

On questions regarding Vietnamese victims in the deadly fire that hit the Rajtevee apartment building in Bangkok on Sunday, spokesperson Hằng said that there are no Vietnamese amongst the three dead victims, however, 13 injured Vietnamese students are among those who were hospitalised. Their school is taking care of their accommodations. The foreign affairs ministry has asked the Vietnamese embassy in Thailand to keep in close communication and provide necessary and timely support for the victims.

On the escalating trade tensions between China and the US and its potential ramifications, Vietnamese foreign affairs’ spokesperson said Việt Nam is in favour of measures that are in line with international norms and World Trade Organisation provisions that could reconcile the interests of all parties involved. — VNS




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