Absurdity of the Week

Saturday, September 26, 2009
Brace yourself.

This week, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) approved a report on Vietnam's human rights record as part of the U.N.'s Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

Furthermore, Cuba, Venezuela and Russia considered Vietnam's measures to exercise human rights a good example for other countries to follow.

In other words, other countries should:

- Restrict freedom of expression, assembly and association;
- Continue imprisoning political prisoners;
- Use of national security legislation and the criminal code to suppress criticism of the government, including in relation to the Internet;
- Continue repressive practices in ethnic minority areas;
- Not establish an independent judiciary;
- Restrict religious freedoms, continue intolerance of non-state sanctioned religions and denominations; and
- Apply the death penalty arbitrarily.

Furthermore, Human Rights Watch reminds us that just last month, 27 people had been arrested for their alleged links to the Democratic Party of Vietnam, which like all parties in Vietnam other than the ruling Communist Party, is banned. Of those arrested, at least five - including the prominent rights lawyer Le Cong Dinh - have been prosecuted on national security charges.

That's the U.N. for you.