Target: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Goal: Urge Vietnam to allow free speech and the right to receive information through the internet.
A new draft decree in Vietnam is threatening to extend many of the country’s strict speech crimes to the internet. The Vietnamese government stringently regulates television, radio and newspaper content, leaving the internet as one of the few outlets for free expression. Sign this petition to support freedom of speech in Vietnam by preventing the government from filtering internet content.
Rights-restricting provisions are peppered throughout the draft prohibiting opposition to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, its customs, traditions and the unity of all people. The decree also states that foreign-based companies providing information must collaborate with authorities in order to filter and eliminate prohibited information. Bloggers and free speech activists have been criminally prosecuted for anything Vietnamese authorities view as criticism of the country. Activists fear further persecution of contributors and losing their last outlet to government control.
According to Human Rights Watch, these limiting articles directly contradict Vietnam’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Under article 19 of that treaty, Vietnam is obligated to respect freedom of expression. Vietnam’s constitution also states that citizens have the right to freedom of speech and the right to receive information. The internet decree is in direct violation of these statements, and passing it would allow the government subjective and overreaching power of information.
Please sign this petition to support freedom of speech and the right to receive information in Vietnam. These unconstitutional attacks on human rights must be addressed before the decree reaches the National Assembly.
Dear Secretary Clinton,
The proposed internet decree in Vietnam contains numerous articles allowing the government power over content by filtering individual and company contributions. Allowing this decree into the National Assembly would be an attack on Vietnam’s constitutional right to receive information and freedom of speech. Under the drafted decree, the Vietnam government has the right to oversee and eliminate any content opposing Vietnam, their customs, traditions, and the unity of all people.
Currently, the Vietnamese government is harsh in their punishment and criminal prosecution of bloggers and free speech activists. The internet decree would allow the government total power in continuing to persecute human rights by having complete control over all media. The internet is the country’s last outlet for free thinkers to question, examine, and educate the citizens of Vietnam in an open forum.
Please publicly press the Vietnamese government to remove the limiting, unconstitutional articles, and support freedom of speech and the right to receive information.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: americancenter via flickr