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Rights group condemns Vietnam for detaining activist in rehab
Published in Bikya Masr on 05 - 01 - 2012

Hanoi (dpa) – A rights group on Thursday condemned the Vietnamese authorities for sending an activist to a drug rehabilitation center in apparent punishment for her participation in anti-China protests.
Bui Thi Minh Hang, 47, was arrested for causing public disorder after she joined a rally in Ho Chi Minh City on November 27.
The next day, police sent her to Thanh Ha rehabilitation center in Binh Xuyen district, Vinh Phuc province, near Hanoi, for two years' administrative detention, without trial.
“There is no justification for the Vietnamese authorities to pack off a peaceful protester to what is effectively a forced labor camp,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
“Detaining Bui Thi Minh Hang without trial shows a disturbing disregard for her human rights and guarantees for freedom of expression contained in Vietnam's own constitution.”
Hang had been detained at least four times in the previous five months for participating in anti-China demonstrations in the capital.
Protesters accused Hanoi of being too lenient with Beijing after China allegedly interfered with Vietnamese oil exploration activities in the South China Sea.
“Detaining people for expressing their views on relations with neighboring countries is as much a rights violation as detaining them for talking about problems at home,” Robertson said.
“The right to free speech includes speaking out on matters both domestic and international.”
BM
ShortURL: http://goo.gl/Yq2bY
Tags: Bui Thi Minh Hang, Vietnam
Section: East Asia, Human Rights


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