Vietnam: Le Quoc Quan's verdict - The ASF Network forced by the police

Vietnam: Le Quoc Quan's verdict - The ASF Network forced by the police
October 08 2013

Arrested by the end of 2012, the Vietnamese lawyer and blogger Le Quoc Quan has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison and 59000$ fine on the 2nd of October 2013. Moreover banned from the Bar, he will never be able to exercise his profession again.

 

Press release - 3.10.2013

 

The Lawyer and blogger Le Quoc Quan has been sentenced to 2 years and a half in prison for « tax evasion »

The Avocats Sans Frontières Network forced by Vietnamese police to leave Hanoi during the trial.

 

Arrested by the end of 2012, the Vietnamese lawyer and blogger Le Quoc Quan has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison and 59000$ fine on the 2nd of October 2013. Moreover banned from the Bar, he will never be able to exercise his profession again.

Known for his activities in favour of Human Rights, the lawyer Le Quoc Quan has been, in reality, sentenced for his militancy.

Despite of the public character of the trial, only few people have been able to access this hearing, mostly in reason of the restriction by accreditation set up. At the end of the trial, the deliberation did not exceed one minute whereas a 20 pages judgment have been produced. Facing these elements, it seems clear that the fair trial was not guaranteed in this case.

The ASF Network has been witness of the absence of public hearing: one of its members who tried to attend the trial has been, surprisingly, waited by 5 members of the public safety. Against her will, she had to sign an engagement that she will be not closer than 50 km from Hanoi and will not reach the courthouse at any point during her stay. Furthermore, she had to be enrolled in a touristic tour, during these days, where she found herself well escorted.

In March 2013, a broad coalition of human rights organisations, including ASF Network, called for UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to intervene in emergency with the Vietnamese authorities in favour of Le Quoc Quan.

 

Today, Lawyers Without Borders Network expresses its deepest concern about the situation of Le Quoc Quan who appeared extremely thin at the hearing. It also protests against intimidation and coercion against one of its members who have been deprived of her freedom of movement on the sole ground that she intended to attend a hearing supposed to be public.

ASF Network Reminds that the independence of lawyers is a key barometer of democracy and the effectiveness of the rule of law. It draws attention of the Vietnam authorities to the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, which were adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, Cuba, from 27 August to 27 September 1990.

ASF Network requests to the Vietnamese national authorities to ensure Le Quoc Quan a retrial which complies with fair trial standards and to take all necessary measures to lead to his release and his right to exercise his defense activities, and then in favour of all Vietnamese lawyers who are in the same situation to ensure them in all circumstances the free exercise of their defense mission.

 

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