Ven. Thich Huyen Quang

Ven. Thich Quang Do


2017-06-16 | VCHR
At the UN, Vietnam Committee on Human Rights denounces persecution of UBCV Buddhists and calls on UN Experts to visit Vietnam

2017-05-29 | FIDH & Vietnam Committee on Human rights
Vietnam: Lengthy jail sentences for two dissidents upheld as crackdown continues

2017-05-15 | VCHR
Buddhist Youth Leader Lê Công Cầu goes on hunger strike to protest ban on visiting critically-ill UBCV leader Thích Quảng Độ

2017-05-12 | VCHR
Police threaten and harass UBCV Buddhists and Youth leaders during Vesak celebrations in Hue

2017-05-10 | IBIB
UBCV leader Thích Quảng Độ issues Vesak Day Message

Vietnam New Law contravenes the Fundamental Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief


PARIS, 19 November 2016 (VCHR) – The Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR) strongly denounces the adoption of a new Law on Belief and Religion by Vietnam’s 14th National Assembly on Friday 18 November at the end of its second session. VCHR believes that the law, which replaces the current Ordinance 22 on Belief and Religion and various other decrees and regulations, is deeply flawed. It enables the communist authorities to interfere intrusively in all aspects of religious life and grossly contravenes the rights enshrined in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

“This is the first time Vietnam has adopted a law on religions, and it was an important opportunity to improve its people’s rights” said VCHR President Võ Văn Ái. “But instead of adopting legislation to protect and promote the enjoyment of freedom of religion or belief as in most civilized countries, Vietnam is once again using the law to increase state control, criminalize independent religious activities and give the authorities a cloak of legality to continue harassing, arresting and convicting its citizens at will”.

Under the new law, registration remains mandatory, although the process is now accelerated (it will take 5 years instead of 23 years to obtain state recognition), and makes no provisions for religious groups who cannot, or choose not to register with the state, such as the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam. Mandatory registration is a violation of Article 18 of the ICCPR, as UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, stressed after his visit to Vietnam: “the right to freedom of religion or belief is a universal right which can never be “created” by administrative procedures. Rather, it is the other way around: registration should be an offer by the State but not a compulsory legal requirement”.

“Advocates of freedom of religion or belief risk imprisonment under the vaguely-worded “prohibited acts” cited in this law” said VCHR President Võ Văn Ái. He cited the case of UBCV Patriarch Thích Quảng Độ , who is under house arrest at the Thanh Minh Zen Monastery in Saigon after decades of arbitrary detention for his advocacy of religious freedom and human rights. “Vietnam acceded to the ICCPR over 30 years ago, but it continues to flagrantly violate its citizens’ rights, in violation of its binding international obligations”.

Unusually, whereas most laws come into force some months after their adoption, the Law on Belief and Religion will not come into force until 1st January 2018.

In October, in an initiative launched by VCHR and Christian Solidarity Worldwide, 54 religious bodies and civil society organizations sent a letter to National Assembly President Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân, calling for an urgent revision of the draft law before it came up for vote.


2016-04-27 | euobserver
EU sacrifices human rights for Vietnam free trade

2016-04-20 | Civicus
Intolerance of civil society in Vietnam: An interview with Penelope Faulkner from the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights

2015-11-19 | Radio Free Asia
[Radio Free Asia] Monk of Banned Buddhist Church Reaffirms Commitment to Democracy in Vietnam

2014-04-19 | The Wall Street Journal
The Death of Vietnam's Teacher Dinh
As Hanoi was opposing a U.N. human rights resolution, activist Dinh Dang Dinh died of medical neglect.
By Vo Van Ai

2014-02-05 | Reuters
West denounces repression of bloggers, religions in Vietnam

2013-04-11 | AFP
US pressed to seek rights improvements from Vietnam

2013-04-11 | Radio Free Asia
Call to Press Vietnam at Human Rights Dialogue

2012-11-29 | Radio Free Asia
New Law Limits Religious Freedom

2012-10-30 | Radio Free Asia
Jailed for Sensitive Songs

2012-10-30 | Radio Free Asia
US Diplomat Visits Restive Pagoda

2012-04-27 | The Wall Street Journal
Reading Orwell in Hanoi
A judge reminds bloggers how Vietnamese “justice” really works

2012-02-20 | AFP
Vietnam religious minorities face persecution says activist

2012-02-16 | Reuters
Detained Vietnam monk supports Tibetans after self-immolations

2012-02-16 | ABC Radio
Detained Vietnamese monk supports Tibetan struggle

2011-01-27 | IPS
Communist Party Steps on Already Stifled Newspapers


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