Vietnam detains senior official for global rights group

BANGKOK — A senior executive for an international human rights group was detained by Vietnamese authorities on Sunday as she arrived in the capital to attend a World Economic Forum meeting and is expected to be deported.

Debbie Stothard, secretary general of the International Federation for Human Rights, was prevented from entering Vietnam at Hanoi's airport, Fon Mathuros, a spokeswoman for the WEF, said in a statement, adding that Stothard will travel to Malaysia on Monday.

"We regret the government's decision to deny her entry. Her invitation to the meeting stands and we will continue to facilitate her participation in the meeting," Mathuros said.

Stothard said on her Facebook page that she was detained at the airport by immigration officials "because the Vietnam government has blacklisted me 'under article 21' to prevent me from speaking" at the World Economic Forum event.

Article 21 under the Immigration Law stipulates that a person can be stopped from entering Vietnam for reasons including national defense and security.

Vietnam has recently stepped up its crackdown on dissent, jailing dozens of people for violating national security laws.

"Whatever inconvenience I am being subjected to is nothing compared to the attacks on Vietnam human rights defenders and the media," Stothard wrote on Twitter.

Vietnam will host a three-day World Economic Forum this week focusing on Southeast Asia, with several heads of state or government from the region and hundreds of business leaders from around the world expected to attend.

Some Western governments and international human rights groups often criticize Vietnam for jailing people for peacefully expressing their views, but Hanoi maintains that only lawbreakers are put behind bars.

People also read these

Asian stocks markets retreat after Wall Street loss

Dec 23, 2016

Most Asian stock markets have declined in thin trading ahead of the Christmas holiday after Wall...

Chinese delegation open to meeting Trump's team at Davos

Jan 11, 2017

A Chinese official says President Xi Jinping's delegation to the World Economic Forum is open to...

Asian markets lower amid Brexit worries

Jan 17, 2017

Asian stock markets are mostly lower after Britain said Prime Minister Theresa May will call for a...

Global stocks slip amid concern over Trump policies on trade

Jan 23, 2017

Major global stock markets are lower after Donald Trump took office as U.S. president and promised...

EU asks China to open markets following free trade support

Jan 25, 2017

The European Union ambassador to China has welcomed its endorsement of free trade in the face of...

AseanCoverage is a next-gen news site focusing exclusively on online news from South East Asia.

Contact us: sales[at]aseancoverage.com