Joint letter calling on the Australian Parliament to introduce legislation with Magnitsky-like targe

Dear Members of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade,

We, the undersigned members of Vietnam Freedom of Religion or Belief (VFORB) Roundtable, are writing to support legislation in the Australian Parliament to impose targeted sanctions against human rights violators and corrupt government officials.

As many of us come from persecuted religious and minority communities, we are of the opinion that targeted sanctions would put rights violators and corrupt government officials on notice. They will have to think twice before committing another act of persecution or corruption. Many of them have sent their children to study in Australia and other Western countries, transferred a significant portion of their assets overseas and have relocation plans ready in case of political purges or upheavals. Australia’s participation in the global efforts to deny them sanctuary would send a clear message that they will have no place to run, nowhere to hide.

VFORB Roundtable, founded in March 2016, is a monthly forum for human rights advocates and representatives of religious organizations to share status updates, best practices and opportunities to collaborate. Participants also occasionally provide mutual assistance and support to victims of religious persecution. One third of the some 250 prisoners of conscience in Vietnam are from persecuted religious/indigenous communities.

Over the past three years we have submitted a dozen reports on rights violations to different UN mandate holders. While we value the UN human rights mechanisms, one major drawback is their lack of sanctioning measures. The application of sanctions by governments against perpetrators would fill this gap.

We therefore call on the Australian Parliament to pass its legislation with provisions on targeted sanctions. Such legislation should include mechanisms to gather inputs from civil society in countries of origin and to coordinate with UN human rights mechanisms.

Signed by:

  1. Kim Vo, Caodaism, Vietnamese Women for Human Rights, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam

  2. Phuong Dung, Catholic , Vietnamese Women for Human Rights, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  3. Peter Trinh, Catholic, Overseas Vietnamese

  4. Hong Quang Nhat, Caodaism, Dong Nai province, Vietnam

  5. Ut Cam, Caodaism, Overseas Vietnamese

  6. Nguyen Van An, Catholic, Vinh City, Vietnam

  7. Thanh Nguyen, Caodaism, Dong Nai province, Vietnam

  8. Ngoc Anh, Buddhist, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  9. AGA, Evangelical Church of Christ in the Central highlands, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  10. Vang Johnny Huy, Protestant, Overseas Vietnamese

  11. Y Quynh Bdap, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  12. Y Pher Hdrue, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  13. Y Qúi Bdap, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  14. H Mla Hdruĕ, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak, Vietnam

  15. H Nưih Knul, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  16. H Tluñ Bdap, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak, Vietnam

  17. H WiKi Hdruĕ, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak, Vietnam

  18. H Yer Hdrue, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak, Vietnam

  19. H Zia Niê, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  20. Nay Y Ní, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  21. Y Arôn Êban, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  22. Y Bhiông Hdrue, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  23. Y Phais Kbuôr, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  24. Y Jon Ayun, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  25. Y Ruing Knul, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  26. Y Saih Knul, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  27. Y Sitôp Bkrông, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  28. Y Liă Êčăm, Montagnard Stand For Justice, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  29. Y Dan Byă, ecclesiastical leaders in Hra Êa Tlă, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  30. Y Brôč Byă, Evangelical Church of Christ in Ako Êmông, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  31. Y Kươ Byă, Evangelical Church of Christ in Buôn Ko Mlieo, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  32. Y Bluk Niê, ecclesiastical leaders in Kroa B, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  33. Y Mit Niê, ecclesiastical leaders in Tah A, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  34. Y Ghiăk Êban, ecclesiastical leaders in Êa Tar, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  35. Y Blô Niê, ecclesiastical leaders in Êa Kjoh A, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  36. Y Nam Ayun, ecclesiastical leaders in Gram B, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  37. Y Prun Niê, ecclesiastical leaders in Kroa A, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  38. Y Duen Niê Kdăm , ecclesiastical trainer in Êa Kjoh B, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  39. Y Ep Niê ecclesiastical leaders in Êa Kjoh B, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  40. Y Noăt Êban, ecclesiastical leaders in Tara Puôr, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  41. Y Dhưt Mlô, ecclesiastical leaders in Trang, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  42. Y Jim Êban, ecclesiastical leaders in Sut Hluôt, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  43. Y Cơi Bkrông , ecclesiastical leaders in Ko Mleo, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  44. Y Săk Mlô , ecclesiastical leaders in Dhiă, Dak Lak,Vietnam

  45. Y Bhuăr Bdap, ecclesiastical leaders in Ako Êmông, Dak Lak,Vietnam

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