should australia raise human rights concerns during vietnam visit
Hurley should call on the Vietnam government to free all political prisoners. For the immediate and unconditional release of a number of prominent activists as well as Australian citizen Chau Van Kham, 73, he should make a special appeal.
Human Rights Watch released a comprehensive report last year that elaborates on the dozens of ways authorities in Vietnam regularly violate the right to freedom of movement. During the visit, Hurley should also urge the government to put an immediate and effective stop to all the restrictions on this right imposed on activists and human rights defenders.
The governor-general should also urge the authorities to allow all religious organisations in Vietnam to freely proceed with their religious activities without any sort of interference.
HRW has repeatedly requested the Australian government to use the Australia-Vietnam human rights dialogues to press for concrete benchmarks for progress in these areas, clearly revealing the consequences for bilateral ties should any of these violations remain unaddressed.
Nevertheless, human rights concerns should be brought under the limelight in every meeting with the government of Vietnam, and not just at scheduled dialogues.