Vietnam denies entry to human rights campaigner to attend World Economic Forum

11-Sep-2018 Intellasia | Reuters | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Vietnam has refused entry to the Secretary general of the International Federation for Human Rights, Debbie Stothard, to attend the World Economic Forum to be held in the country next week, the Swiss-based international foundation said on Sunday.

Hanoi is hosting the World Economic Forum on Asean (The Association of South East Asian Nations) on September 11-13, an event touted as the biggest diplomatic gathering in the Southeast Asian country this year.

Debbie Stothard was unable to enter Vietnam on Sunday as she arrived at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi to attend the event, World Economic Forum spokeswoman Fon Mathuros told Reuters in an emailed statement.

Despite sweeping economic reform and increasing openness to social change, Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party retains tight media censorship and does not tolerate criticism.

The country has jailed several human rights activists in recent years, accusing them of attempting to overthrow the state.

“We regret the government’s decision to deny her entry,” Mathuros said.

“Whatever inconvenience I am being subjected to is nothing compared to the attacks on Vietnam human rights defenders and the media,” Stothard said in a tweet.


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