Vietnam’s Evasive Answer to UN Human Rights Experts about Dong Guangping Cannot Stand

For Immediate Release

Three months after United Nations human rights experts wrote to the Vietnamese government demanding answers to a number of questions about disappeared Chinese human rights defender Dong Guangping, the government has responded with the blithe statement that, “After the verification process, the authorities in Viet Nam have had no information regarding Dong Guangping in Viet Nam.”

That means that seven months since he disappeared after he was arrested, handcuffed, blindfolded and taken into custody in Hanoi by Vietnamese police, Dong Guangping remains missing, his family knows nothing about his fate, and the Vietnamese government continues to refuse to disclose his whereabouts.

“Vietnam ignored our family and ignored the Canadian government, but we were holding onto hope that they would take the United Nations seriously and finally disclose what has happened to my father. Who do we look to now? What is left? We have had no news about my father for seven months, even to know if he is still alive. If the Vietnamese government will not answer to the UN, does this mean they are not accountable to anyone for respecting human rights”
— Katherine Dong, Daughter of Dong Guangping

“Vietnam’s disingenuous response to the United Nations cannot stand. They arrested him. They took him into custody. They are responsible for what happened to him. Their actions, including the refusal to answer questions about his whereabouts, show nothing but contempt for international human rights. That is never acceptable, particularly when a country is serving as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, as has been the case with Vietnam since last year. We look to UN human rights bodies to exert greater pressure on Vietnam to provide the truth about what has happened to Dong Guangping.”
— Independent Senator Hassan Yussuff

“This latest snub from Vietnam, refusing to engage in good faith with UN human rights processes that Canada champions, must spur the Canadian government to take further action. Dong Guangping was to be resettled to Canada to join his wife and daughter here. Canada has a particular responsibility to defend his rights now. 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Canada and Vietnam. It is time for Canada to make it clear that Vietnam’s handling of Dong Guangping’s case will have very real implications for that relationship.”
— Sheng Xue, Chairperson, Federation for a Democratic China (Canada)

Dong Guangping had previously been slated to be resettled to Canada as a refugee in 2015, along with his wife and daughter. Shortly before his flight to Canada he was arrested by Thai authorities in Bangkok and returned to China where he was imprisoned for the third time. Following his release from prison in China in 2019 he made his way to Vietnam where he had been residing since January 2020, while the Canadian government sought to obtain Vietnam’s cooperation in allowing him to leave the country and come to Canada to be reunited with his family. Dong Guangping’s sudden arrest by Vietnamese police on August 24, 2022 came as a crushing disappointment for his family and for human rights groups who have been supporting him. Vietnam’s disingenuous response to the United Nations is yet another blow.

Toronto Association for Democracy in China
Federation for a Democratic China (Canada)

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