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Vietnam human rights petition a success: Boswell



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SENATOR RON BOSWELL THE NATIONALS SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

www.ronboswell.com

Vietnam human rights petition a success: Boswell

Over 200 members of the Vietnamese community of Australia, some of whom will travel over 10 hours by bus from interstate, will gather in front of Parliament House in Canberra at 11 am on Thursday morning in support of a petition calling on the Australian Government to improve its human rights dialogue with Vietnam.

Queensland Nationals Senator Ron Boswell, who in February gave a speech in the Senate detailing the plight of Vietnamese musician Viet Khang imprisoned for posting two songs online protesting against the government, will present the petition to the Senate.

“Cases such as Viet Khang, Nobel Peace Prize nominee the Most Venerable Thich Quang Do, and Reverend Nguyen Van Ly, all unjustly detained by the Vietnamese government without trial, serve to illustrate the urgent need for improvement of Australia’s human rights dialogue with Vietnam,” Senator Boswell said.

The delegation on Thursday will be led by newly-elected President of the Vietnamese Community in Australia Mr. Tri Vo, Vice-President for External Affairs Mr. Cong Le, and the former President Mr. Phong Nguyen.

Senator Boswell will be joined by Labor Senator Mark Furner and Liberal MPs Philip Ruddock, Craig Kelly and Luke Simpkins, among other federal parliamentarians.

“The petition has attracted over 55,000 signatures in a few short months, which is an incredible result,” Senator Boswell said.

“It is heartening to see local and international Vietnamese come out in such strong support for better measures to improve the human rights situation in Vietnam.”

Vice-President of the Vietnamese community Mr. Cong Le cited the worsening human rights violations in Vietnam in the last decade as the motivating factor behind the petition.

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“It would help if the Australian Government included human rights attributes as mandatory factors in business dealings with Vietnam and in future aid to Vietnam,” he said.

“Ideally, those Human Rights Dialogues between Vietnam and Australia should be overseen by Parliament, while provision for the Human Rights Sub-committee members to visit Vietnam to gain the real picture of current human rights abuse would be highly applauded by the Vietnamese worldwide.”

The petition highlights the fact that despite eight rounds of Dialogue on Human Rights held between the Australian and Vietnamese governments since 2002, there has been no resulting improvement in Vietnam’s human rights situation.

“We hope with the wide support for this online petition, the Australian Parliament will help ensure the improvement of human rights in Vietnam is a condition for Australia’s overseas development aid to Vietnam,” President of the Vietnamese community Mr. Tri Vo said.

Senator Boswell agreed that action must be taken to improve conditions in Vietnam.

“It is imperative that the Government do everything in its power to alleviate the human rights crises taking place in Vietnam,” Senator Boswell said.

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