Alleged arbitrary detention and violation of fundamental freedoms in dak lak province, vietnam

Alleged arbitrary detention and violation of fundamental freedoms in Daklak province, Vietnam.

Alleged arbitrary detention and violation of fundamental freedoms in dak lak province, vietnam

On April 8th, 2023, in Buon Emap, Cu Mgar district, Dak Lak province, Vietnam, several pastors and members of the Evangelical Church were reportedly detained by undercover security forces and taken to the police station for investigation. The circumstances and legal basis of their detention are unclear, but according to the information received by the MSFJ, several individuals have been confirmed to be detained and/or imprisoned.

The alleged arbitrary detention of these individuals raises concerns regarding the respect for the rule of law, due process, and fundamental freedoms in Dak Lak province. Under international human rights law, no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention, and anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other judicial authority and shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time. Moreover, everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, which includes the freedom to manifest their religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance, alone or in community with others, and in public or private.

The Vietnamese government has an obligation to respect and protect the rights of all individuals within its territory, including the right to liberty and security of person, the right to a fair trial, and the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. The arbitrary detention of individuals violates the right to liberty and security of person, which is enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Vietnam is a state party. The ICCPR prohibits arbitrary arrest or detention and requires that anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge be brought promptly before a judge or other judicial authority and be entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time.

The right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion is also protected under international human rights law, including the ICCPR. This right includes the freedom to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance, alone or in community with others, and in public or private. The arbitrary detention of individuals on the basis of their religious beliefs or practices violates this fundamental freedom.

Therefore, the MSFJ calls on the authorities in Dak Lak province to immediately release all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained without a lawful basis or a fair trial. The authorities must ensure that all detainees are treated humanely, in accordance with international standards of detention, and have access to legal counsel, medical care, and family visits.

The Vietnamese government is further urged to conduct an impartial and transparent investigation into the circumstances of the alleged arbitrary detention, and hold accountable any person or entity responsible for violating the law and/or the rights of the detainees. The government must respect the right to freedom of movement and religion and refrain from carrying out illegal arrests or detentions, or applying illegal punishments to innocent people.

The Vietnamese government has an obligation to uphold its obligations under international human rights law, including the ICCPR, and to ensure that all citizens enjoy the full and equal protection of the law, without discrimination of any kind. The MSFJ calls on the Vietnamese government to take immediate action to address this situation and release the detained individuals without further delay. Failure to do so would constitute a violation of international human rights law and would undermine the rule of law and fundamental freedoms in Vietnam.

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