Prisoners of Conscience: A term that is being abused!


Recent years, we have heard more and more of phrase “prisoner of conscience” which hostile forces use as a tool to protest against Vietnam’s Party and State. So, what is prisoner of conscience? Let find out that.

Firstly, Prisoner of conscience (POC) is a term coined by Peter Benenson in a 28 May 1961 article ("The Forgotten Prisoners") for the London Observer newspaper. The article launched the campaign "Appeal for Amnesty 1961" and first defined a "prisoner of conscience. In early 1962, the campaign had received enough public support to become a permanent organization and was renamed Amnesty International.

Under British law, Amnesty International was classed as a political organization and therefore excluded from tax-free charity status. Most POC often associated with the human rights organization Amnesty International, the term can refer to anyone imprisoned because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, or political views. It also refers to those who have been imprisoned and/or persecuted for the non-violent expression of their conscientiously held beliefs.

The phrase is now widely used in political discussions to describe a political prisoner, whether or not Amnesty International has specifically adopted the case, although the phrase has a different scope and definition than that of political prisoner.

Amnesty International has pressured governments to release those persons it considers to be POC. But, we don’t know if they exclude those people who have conspired with a foreign government to overthrow their own.

 Yes, they have also tried to pressure Vietnam by claiming many criminals who violate laws as POC. Who do they consider as POC or political prisoners? We can list out some examples from these human rights organizations’ allegations: Cù Huy Hà Vũ, Le Cong Dinh, Nguyen Dan Que, Nguyen Van Hai, Nguyen Van Ly, Phan Thanh Hai, Ta Phong Tan, Vi Duc Hoi, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, etc, and recently Nguyen Van Dai. Who are they? Ironically, they are all perpetrators who seriously violated Vietnam’s laws and was arrested and judged by Vietnam’s authorities. And, if that makes those criminals POC, then there are a lot of POC in the world, in all countries, including the United States and Western nations. But, these countries and self-claimed human rights organizations led by them have often misused this POC term to deceive the general public protesting the Vietnamese government. I think these criminals’ settlements are Vietnam’s internal affairs as other countries, so they should keep their noses out of that, right!?

Vietnam's Foreign Ministry always affirm that there are no so-called POC in Vietnam in responding to fabricated, groundless and untrue allegations and reports by these hostile organizations, especially from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, the AFP (France), the Vietnamese language department of Radio BBC (Britain), etc.

It is an undeniable truth that, over the past years, the Vietnamese State has been making considerable efforts in promoting democracy and protecting the legitimate interests of the Vietnamese people.

The Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, which was passed in 2013 by the 13th National Assembly, made great advances in restructuring the legislature and reflected the State’s determination to ensure democracy and human rights in Vietnam. All fundamental rights of citizens are guaranteed by the Constitution. These rights include the freedom of opinion and speech, the freedom of the press, the right to assemble, the right to form associations and hold demonstrations, and the right to practice or not practice beliefs and religions. All citizens are equal before the Constitution and the law in terms of rights and duties. All acts in violation of the law are dealt with according to the law.

So there’s no POC in Vietnam as paranoids said. In Vietnam, all prisoners are criminals who have committed offences as regulated in the Penal Code. All offenders are brought to trial and tried in a just and public manner at court, and whether they are sentenced to jail or not depends on the offences and based on the law.

And, if for any reason who claims these criminals above as POC aims to distort the Vietnamese achievements in ensuring human rights./.
Chia sẻ bài viết ^^
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All comments [ 10 ]

Deck Hero14 21/2/16 18:22

Supporters of the term define a political prisoner as someone who is imprisoned for his or her participation in political activity.

Pack Cassiopian 21/2/16 18:23

Protecting and promoting human rights is the main objective of our development. We want to ensure, promote and protect the rights of all people in Vietnam.

Only Solidar 21/2/16 18:26

Right, there's no prisoner of conscience in Vietnam now, just law-breakers and offenders.

MaskOf Zero 21/2/16 18:27

I think these criminals’ settlements are Vietnam’s internal affairs as other countries, so no one could interfere with these.

Love Peace 21/2/16 18:43

We must assert that current detainees — which rights groups say includes hundreds of political prisoners — were being held because they had violated the law.

yobro yobro 21/2/16 19:51

What is POCs? They are all criminals!

Jane smartnic 21/2/16 19:54

Yes, I agree with yobro yobro. Who try to undermine the country's solidarity and national interests are all criminals need to be judges by laws.

LawrenceSamuels 21/2/16 19:56

Yeah, in Vietnam, all offenders are brought to trial and tried in a just and public manner at court, and whether they are sentenced to jail or not depends on the offences and based on the law.

Gentle Moon 21/2/16 19:57

They have just tried to distort the government's policies and sabotage Vietnam's political stability.

John Smith 21/2/16 20:00

In my opinion, Vietnam's authority, especially news agencies and mass media, must spread widely about schemes of abusing the term to harm the country's interests.

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