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Fabrication on Vietnam by Human Rights Watch rejected


ANSWER TO CORRESPONDENT BY MR. LE DZUNG, THE SPOKESMAN

OF THE VIETNAMESE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON 22nd OCTOBER 2004

AFP, AP: Please advise Vietnam’s position on recently released report by HRW on religious situation in Vietnam. 

Answer:

 

Information released by Human Rights Watch is sheer fabrication, glaring slanders and distortion about the situation of Vietnam. We strongly reject it.

 

It should be confirmed that there is no “repression of Protestant in Vietnam.” The consistant policy of the State of Vietnam is to respect freedom of beliefs and religion and freedom of non-religions or belief of all citizens. This is enshrined in the Constitution of Vietnam and is respected in reality.

 

According to competent authorities, despite repeated explanation and requests Nguyen Thanh Long refused to dismantle his house, which had been built on illegally purchased land without construction permit, thereby violating regulations on land management, the authorities of Vinh Quang Commune, Kon Tum town  had to forcibly pull down the house on September 24, 2004. Information saying that “responsible authorities destroyed a Protestant Church in Kontum, Tay Nguyen and Nguyen Thanh Long’s wife and children were detained and hit on the stomach” is totally fabricated by ill will.

 

With regard to Nguyen Hong Quang, we have many times clearly stated that Nguyen Hong Quang was arrested for violation of Vietnam’s laws and absolutely not on religious grounds.

 

Concerning the Ordinance on religions and beliefs, I would like to reconfirm that the Ordinance has institutionalized the State’s guidelines and policies on religions and beliefs, systematically proclaiming fundamental rights and obligations of the citizen in terms of freedom of religion and beliefs with an aim to form legal foundations for all citizens to exercise those rights.

 
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