UN Human Rights Office Expresses Grave Concern Over Imminent Execution of Nguyen Van Chuong

UN Human Rights Office Expresses Grave Concern Over Imminent Execution of Nguyen Van Chuong

In a development that has sparked international concern, the impending execution of Nguyen Van Chuong in Vietnam is being met with serious allegations of torture and violations of fair trial procedures. The UN Human Rights Office has now weighed in, urging the Vietnamese authorities to halt the execution immediately and initiate an independent and impartial investigation into the allegations of torture.

Nguyen Van Chuong stands accused of the murder of a police officer on July 14, 2007. Roughly three weeks later, he was detained. He was later tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in 2008. Chuong has steadfastly maintained his innocence throughout this time, asserting that his confession was extracted under duress during police torture. Reports suggest that this coerced confession was admitted as evidence during his trial, forming the basis for his conviction.

The utilization of confessions obtained through torture, particularly when they lead to a death sentence, blatantly violates the categorical prohibition against torture, as well as the principles of fair trial, rendering the sentence arbitrary and contravening the right to life, as enshrined in Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a treaty to which Vietnam is a signatory.

His family received a notice from the People's Court of Hai Phong City on August 4, 2023, informing them of the Court's decision to proceed with the execution. However, critical details, such as the exact date of execution, have yet to be disclosed, causing distress and uncertainty.

Vietnam's ongoing use of the death penalty often carried out discreetly, contrasts with a global trend toward abolishing capital punishment. Advocates stress that transparency and the full protection of prisoners' and their families' rights are fundamental prerequisites for governments that have yet to renounce the death penalty. They emphasize that essential information pertinent to planned executions should be promptly shared with prisoners and their families. Information concerning death sentences, notifications, and executions must be made publicly available.

In light of these developments, the UN Human Rights Office has not only urged the Vietnamese authorities to suspend the execution of Nguyen Van Chuong but also called upon the government to establish an official moratorium on all executions as a decisive step towards eventually abolishing the death penalty entirely. As global attention remains fixated on this situation, the outcome will inevitably resonate well beyond Vietnam's borders, influencing the trajectory of the country's justice system and its commitment to human rights principles.


The full statement from UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Jeremy Laurence can be found here.


For more information and media requests, please contact:

In Geneva

Ravina Shamdasani - +41 22 917 9169 / ravina.shamdasani@un.org or

Liz Throssell +41 22 917 9296 / elizabeth.throssell@un.org or

Jeremy Laurence + +41 22 917 9383 / jeremy.laurence@un.org or

Marta Hurtado - +41 22 917 9466 / marta.hurtadogomez@un.org

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