That Colville’s concerns about “the increasing levels of violence perpetrated against Vietnamese protesters expressing their anger over the mysterious mass deaths of fish along the country’s central coast,” and “some women and children were among those arrested and hurt,” are groundless and totally erroneous.
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stipulates that people’s rights and freedoms must be exercised within laws, without affecting security, public order, moral standards, public health and the rights and interests of other individuals. As a responsible member of the international community, Vietnam has always respected international conventions on human rights and at the same time adopted measures that comply with its laws and other international standards to ensure security and safety for its people, especially the elderly, women and children. Only law breakers are punished.
Clearly, in the recent mass gatherings in the name of “environment protection”, hostile elements, including those from the US-based terrorist organisation Viet Tan, organised gatherings attempted to provoke disturbances into a riot to overthrow the regime. Conspiring with hostile forces inside and outside the country, they incited people, including juveniles and ex-convicts, to gather at public places. They even set up support teams to deliver water, bread and money to participants and used social networks to inflame actions against those who worked to ensure social order. The Vietnamese authorised forces arrested two people who got money from the Viet Tan organisation to collect and circulate distorted materials and photos inciting people to protest against the State.
It is not hard to find out the hostile elements’ real intention, given that a political event of special significance to Vietnamese people is coming closer – which is the election of deputies to the 14th National Assembly and the People’s Councils at all levels where the people are able to manifest their strong will and aspirations, exercise their citizen and human rights.
Through provocative behaviours, reactionary forces are conspiring to destroy the election by any means, causing political and security instability with a hidden aim of overthrowing the regime.
Therefore, measures taken by the Vietnamese State over recent time are to safeguard socio-political stability and people’s lives. Law-breaking acts that threaten the common interest of the community and basic interests of the country should be punished in line with the law – an action that every sovereign country in the world must take. Does Rupert Colville not understand?
When Colville asked for the Vietnamese authorities to “ensure that all the persons negatively affected, in this case fishermen, have access to effective remedies”, it seems that he yet got updated about Vietnam’s situation, or does he deliberately turn a blind eye to the measures that the Vietnamese government, ministries, agencies and localities have adopted to address the environmental incident?
Is there any likelihood that Colville is either unaware of or is intentionally ignoring Vietnam’s drastic support to fishermen, as well as a series of long-term solutions to restoring production and settling down victims’ lives?
Affected fishermen and fish breeders have been provided with rice, cash, and low-interest loans with rescheduled payments to continue farming. Safe fish outlets have been set up in localities, thus stabilising seafood market and assuring fishermen to continue going to the seas to earn a living.
Under the close and drastic guidance of the Government, authorities as well as Vietnamese and foreign scientists are promptly investigating the case and identifying the cause of the incident. The Vietnamese State has reiterated many times it will not forgive any individuals or orgnisations if they violate the law and cause this environmental incident.
Such a fact is clear, but Colville’s words are misleading and distorting Vietnam’s human rights issue.