Our Mission

Vietnam has the third highest rate of executions  globally and its citizens live under a regime  which affords them some of the lowest levels of political freedoms of any country in the world.   Vietnam’s press freedom index is ranked at  the 175th out of  179  countries in the Reporters Without Borders’ 2018 World Press Freedom Index.

Among the country’s many human rights concerns,  the prodigious  rate  with  which it  imprisons  its citizens for exercising their  internationally  protected  rights is a  primary  concern. There are at  least 250 prisoners of  conscience  (POCs) in Vietnam  today,  making it  Southeast Asia’s  second  biggest jailer of men and women for the  peaceful  exercise  of  their  rights,  after  the  Philippines. For  some experts, Vietnam is the biggest jailer of bloggers, independent journalists and human rights defenders in the region.

 

To call attention to this phenomenon and to call on  the Vietnamese  government to  immediately and unconditionally release all prisoners of conscience, researchers and advocacy  advisers  from  BPSOS decided to initiate the NOW! Campaign in August 2017.

 

The NOW! Campaign wants to present itself as a joint initiative involving for now 14 organizations --including organizations that focus  specifically  on the  situation in  Vietnam,  as well  as  regional and international  organisations  that  campaign  for  human  rights  throughout  Southeast Asia  and the world.

 

Through the NOW! Campaign, we want to take every opportunity to advocate for  the  immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience in Vietnam, including those  documented  on  our list and others who we do not know about.

 

We have and will continue to:

·       Share our findings with the government of Vietnam and seek to engage in constructive dialogue towards achieving the release of these men and women;

·       Share  our   findings  with  the  governments  of  other  countries  and  lobby  them to  use  their influence with Vietnam to call for the release of all prisoners of conscience  (for example in  Universal Periodic Review);

·       Present our findings  in  the  form  of  communications to  relevant UN  Special  Procedures  and shadow reports to the UN Treaty Bodies, with the hope that they will act accordingly.

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