Monday, April 23, 2007

Que Me March 30: Vietnam Repeals Decree 31/CP on "Administrative Probation" but Continues Arbitrary Detention of Dissidents under Ordinance 44

Geneva, March 30, 2007

In a move praised by Western diplomats as a step towards the rule of law, Vietnam this week announced the abolition of Decree 31/CP on “Administrative Probation”, a measure routinely invoked to detain dissidents and government critics without trial. However, in a Written Statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights stated that the communist authorities had remained silent on the existence of a lesser known but more repressive law, Ordinance 44 on “Regulating Administrative Violations”, which gives local officials wider powers to not only to arrest and detain citizens suspected of “national security” offences, as Decree 31/CP, but also to commit them to mental hospitals or “rehabilitation camps” without any due process of law.