Harriett Baldwin, the Minister of State for International Development, has said that the Government is concerned over the trial of six human rights activists in Vietnam. The six have been imprisoned for periods between seven and fifteen years each in a heavily guarded trial.
Baldwin said in a statement:
“The British Government is deeply concerned by the conviction in Vietnam of six members of the Brotherhood for Democracy for attempting to overthrow the regime and the harsh sentencing of 66 years in prison.
We do not believe that the peaceful expression of views on Vietnam’s own political system, or promotion of basic and universal human rights, should constitute a criminal offence. Freedom of expression and association are enshrined within both Vietnam’s own 2013 constitution and the international commitments to which Vietnam is a party”.
A spokesperson for the United States said that the President was “deeply troubled” over the convictions.