The European Union (EU) has called on the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release three Vietnamese journalists, who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms for criticising the government, spokesman for the EU External Action Service Peter Stano said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, a court in Vietnam found three Vietnamese journalists guilty of charges of spreading propaganda against the state and sentenced them to prison terms between 11 and 15 years.
The imprisoned journalists – Pham Chi Dung, Nguyen Tuong Thuy, and Le Huu Minh Tuan – are members of the Independent Journalists Association of Vietnam (IJAVN).
At the same time, other journalists say the convicts were writing articles to support human rights in Vietnam and addressing politics and issues of public interest.
“The European Union expects the Vietnamese authorities to immediately release Mr Dung, Mr Thuy, and Mr Tuan, as well as all journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders imprisoned for having peacefully expressed their views.
The European Union will continue to monitor and work with the Vietnamese authorities and all relevant stakeholders to improve the human rights situation in Vietnam,” Stano said.
The EU also recalled that the right to freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Vietnamese constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other international documents signed by Vietnam.
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