Vietnam: Strong Condemnation of Arbitrary Execution of Le Van Manh Violating Fundamental Rights

Vietnam: Strong Condemnation of Arbitrary Execution of Le Van Manh Violating Fundamental Rights

On September 27, 2023, a collective of five international organizations expressed vehement condemnation for the arbitrary execution of Le Van Manh, a flagrant violation of his right to life and freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. The execution took place despite credible allegations of severe beatings and torture by the police to extract a coerced "confession" used against him during his trial.

Despite widespread public outcry and persistent international calls for an impartial, independent review of Le Van Manh's case, the Vietnamese authorities proceeded with the execution on 22 September 2023. This action defied international law and starkly contrasted the global movement towards a moratorium on the death penalty and its eventual abolition.

The death certificate issued by Thu Phong village, Cao Phong district, Hoa Binh Province, confirmed Manh's execution at 7 A.M. on 22 September 2023. Shockingly, this execution occurred merely four days after his mother was notified by the People’s Court of Thanh Hoa, hindering any meaningful efforts to halt the execution.

The notice provided to Manh’s family lacked essential information, including the execution date. The family was also denied the opportunity for a last visit, a cruel and inhumane treatment that international human rights bodies have consistently condemned.

Due Process Violations and Procedural Irregularities

Le Van Manh faced accusations of robbery, rape, and murder of a 14-year-old girl, Hoang Thi Loan, in July 2005. Notably, there was no physical evidence linking him to the alleged crimes, and his conviction was primarily based on a contested "confession" letter obtained under duress and torture. Throughout the judicial process, Manh continuously asserted his innocence and denounced the charges against him.

The undersigned organizations urgently call upon the authorities in Việt Nam to:

  1. Immediate Moratorium: Cease all pending executions and establish a moratorium on executions to abolish the death penalty within Việt Nam.
  2. Thorough Investigations: Initiate immediate, impartial, and thorough investigations into allegations of torture or other cruel, degrading, or inhuman treatment, specifically focusing on coerced "confessions" used as evidence in trials. Several cases have raised similar concerns about torture being utilized to obtain these "confessions" used for sentencing.
  3. Transparency and Accountability: Ensure full transparency in using the death penalty, including timely provision of relevant information regarding planned executions to the prisoner and their family. Publish essential information on death sentences, pardons, individuals on death row, notifications of planned executions, and executions carried out.

The UN General Assembly, in its resolutions, has consistently urged all states that retain the death penalty to impose an immediate moratorium with the eventual goal of abolition. The death penalty fundamentally contravenes the right to life enshrined in Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Việt Nam is a State party. Moreover, it constitutes a cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment, prohibited under Article 7 of the ICCPR and the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).


  • Amnesty International
  • International Commission of Jurists
  • Legal Initiatives for Vietnam
  • People in Need
  • Vietnamese Advocates for Change

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