Official Statement on Vietnam















Photo from this morning in Strasbourg

I am deeply disturbed and concerned of the attacks against the peaceful religious community of Thich Nhat Hahn followers from 8 to 10 December, in Vietnam. [:]
Durin those days uniformed and undercover police as well as local communist party officials terrorized the residents of Phuoc Hue pagoda. This forced its abbot to consent to a December 31 deadline for several hundred Buddhist monks and nuns to vacate the pagoda. My office will continue to closely monitor the situation in the lead-up to the December 31 eviction deadline.

I am alarmed by the reports that the attackers assaulted monks and nuns violently.

The violent expulsion of the monks and nuns from Bat Nha monastery and Phuoc Hue Temple and increasingly tense situation following these actions are in clear contradiction of the commitments with regard to freedom of religion and assembly which the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has undertaken as a signatory of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The authorities must inform where those already detained are and ensure that they are not ill-treated.

Vietnamese authorities must immediately stop the persecution of this community.

They must protect the rights of minorities and guarantee the right to practise their religion.

I call on the authorities of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to use all its tools to end this confrontation with a peaceful community.

Heidi Hautala

Chairwoman of Subcommittee on Human Rights

European Parliament