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Briefing notes on Viet Nam

Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Cécile Pouilly
Location: Geneva
Date: 9 August 2013

We are dismayed by the resumption of the death penalty by Viet Nam, with the execution of a 27-year-old man by lethal injection in Hanoi on August 6. Some 18 months after the last execution is reported to have taken place, this resumption represents a major setback in Viet Nam’s human rights record. We are also deeply concerned as some 116 death row prisoners who have exhausted their appeals are now facing imminent execution.

Last month, the High Commissioner wrote to the Prime Minister of Viet Nam, noting that Viet Nam still retains death penalty for several offences that do not meet the threshold of most serious crimes and advocating for the abolition of the death penalty.

We urge the Government not to carry out further executions and to join the growing number of Member States that have established a moratorium on death penalty or abolished this practice altogether, including 19 States in the Asia-Pacific region.

We also call upon the Government to declassify the data on the use of the death penalty as a state secret, recalling the importance of transparent and effective public debate on the subject ensuring that the public has access to balanced and accurate information.


For further information and media requests, please contact Cécile Pouilly (+41 22 917 9310 or +41 79 618 3430 / cpouilly@ohchr.org) or Liz Throssell (+ 41 22 917 9434 / ethrossell@ohchr.org)

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