Human rights in Vietnam continue to get worse. We have more Vietnamese Australians than anywhere else in Australia. I have seen Vietnamese migrants work hard to build strong homes here and raise a generation of young Vietnamese Australians to contribute to our country; doctors, lawyers, dentists, engineers, teachers and artists – young Australians with dreams built on the backs of their parents' sacrifice and hard work in a new country. As I've had the chance to represent such a large and spirited community, it’s disheartening, infuriating, to see human rights in Vietnam worsen. Those brave enough to speak against the Vietnamese government are being charged under vague laws and thrown in jail without a fair trial or even access to lawyers. There they face poor conditions and mistreatment.
In August activist Tran Thi Nga was beaten and threatened with death by another inmate in an attack widely believed to come from jail authorities. The Vietnamese government oppresses peaceful activists.
Last week I hosted a human-rights forum here [pictured]. I was encouraged to see more than 150 turn up from many different communities to discuss human rights in Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines and the Middle East. It shows how our community genuinely cares about others. Registrar Dinh Tran noted the release of activist Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, or “Mother Mushroom”, after only recently being sentenced to 16 years’ jail. She was given her freedom at the expense of being exiled and flown immediately to the US. The same for human-rights lawyer Nguyen Van Dai and colleague Le Thu Ha, now exiled to Germany. Vietnam is one of the most prolific jailers of human-rights activists in South-East Asia. It won’t adhere to law and oppresses, jails and exiles those who advocate for basic rights. The economic relationship between Australia and Vietnam is good, yet it must not be at the expense of human rights.
CHRIS HAYES, Fowler MP
My Health Record
They should’ve promoted the My Health Record and made it a voluntary opt-in which would’ve been easier for people to accept.
It would’ve taken the negative surveillance aspect out of it and the site wouldn't have crashed in panic up to the deadline! People were not informed in enough time because news bulletins were preoccupied with a month of royal filler.