International Human Rights Coalition Urges Vietnam to Halt Execution of Nguyen Van Chuong

International Human Rights Coalition Urges Vietnam to Halt Execution of Nguyen Van Chuong

VIETNAM - A coalition of more than 10 international human rights organizations issued an urgent open letter on August 9, 2023, to the Vietnamese government, calling for an immediate halt to the impending execution of innocent death row prisoner Nguyen Van Chuong. The undersigned groups have expressed deep concern over allegations of an unfair trial, the use of coerced confessions, and the possibility of torture during his detention.

In the open letter addressed to President Vo Van Thuong, the organizations emphasized the need for a comprehensive, impartial, and effective investigation into the allegations of torture and “coerced confessions" that played a crucial role in Chuong's conviction. It raised concerns that relying on such questionable evidence and proceeding with the execution would violate international human rights law and Vietnam's international legal obligations.

Chuong's case dates back to 2007 when he was arrested along with two others for their alleged involvement in the killing of a high-ranking police officer in Hai Phong City. The investigation process has been riddled with discrepancies and allegations of torture leading to coerced confessions. Despite these concerns and the presence of strong alibi witnesses, Chuong and his co-defendants were convicted, and he was sentenced to death in 2008.

The open letter highlights that carrying out Chuong's death sentence would not only perpetrate a grave injustice but would also go against the global trend toward abolishing the death penalty. The coalition of organizations referred to recent United Nations General Assembly resolutions urging countries to impose an immediate moratorium on the death penalty with the ultimate goal of abolition.

The undersigned organizations collectively urged the Vietnamese government to:

  • Notify Nguyen Van Chuong's family about his current status without delay.
  • Grant an immediate and permanent reprieve from the impending execution.
  • Ensure a fair trial in compliance with international standards, or else release him.
  • Initiate a thorough and impartial investigation into allegations of torture and coercion leading to confessions.
  • Impose a moratorium on executions and work towards abolishing the death penalty in Vietnam.

This open letter emphasizes that carrying out Chuong's execution would violate international human rights standards and perpetuate systemic abuses. The undersigned organizations thank the Vietnamese authorities for their urgent consideration of these concerns.

The list of signatories is ongoing, but the following organizations have already signed the letter.

  1. Amnesty International
  2. Anti–Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN)
  3. ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights
  4. Asia Democracy Network
  5. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM–ASIA)
  6. Centre for Civil and Political Rights
  7. Cross Cultural Foundation
  8. Duayjai Group
  9. International Commission of Jurists
  10. Manushya
  11. People in Need
  12. The 88 Project
  13. Transformative Justice Collective


The full open letter can be accessed here.

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