HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam does not arrest or prosecute people solely for expressing their viewpoints or protecting human rights, but abuses of freedoms must be handled by the law, spokesperson for the foreign ministry Lê Thị Thu Hằng said on Thursday.
She made the remarks during a press briefing over questions of Việt Nam’s responses to the recently released 23rd Annual Report to the European Parliament and the Council on Human Rights and Democracy, authored by the European External Action Service (EEAS), the diplomatic service of the European Union.
“We took note of the assessments regarding Việt Nam’s achievements in safeguarding labour rights, preventing child labour, and promoting gender equality in the EEAS’ annual report on human rights in the world,” Hằng said.
“However, it is regrettable that this report still contains unobjective content based on information that does not reflect the situation on the grounds in Việt Nam,” the spokesperson said, adding that the State has always paid attention to the protection of fundamental human rights as stipulated in the Constitution and relevant documents, and such rights have been respected and exercised in practice.
“It is also reflected in Việt Nam’s current accomplishments in socio-economic development, social welfare, healthcare, and most recently, the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. These endeavours and successes have earned recognition from the international community and several bilateral and multilateral frameworks, including the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council,” she said.
Freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of access to information in Việt Nam are showcased in the diverse development in terms of both format and content of Vietnamese press, she said, adding that 70 per cent of the Vietnamese population use the internet and international and domestic social media platforms.
“In Việt Nam, there is also no one who is arrested or taken to court for merely expressing one’s opinions or protecting human rights, but, similar to other countries, Việt Nam stands firm against actions that use the rights to freedom and democracy as an excuse to violate the laws or infringe upon the interests of the State and the lawful rights and interests of an organisation or a citizen,” Hằng said.
All processes related to investigations, trials, or arrests and detainments are conducted in line with the law and the rights of the arrested or detained person are ensured, she added.
Việt Nam cherishes the comprehensive partnership and co-operation with the EU and stands ready to work with the bloc in terms of human rights, “in the spirit of candidness, openness and respect to enhance mutual understanding, via the annual dialogue arrangements and other bilateral frameworks.” — VNS