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NGO gives human rights award to Vietnamese blogger

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Prague, Feb 13 (CTK) – Vietnamese blogger Pham Doan Trang will receive the Homo Homini award for human rights promotion from the Czech People in Need humanitarian organisation at the beginning of the One World film festival on March 5, Zuzana Gruberova, from the NGO, told CTK.

The One World International Human Rights Film Festival will be held in Prague on March 5-14.

People in Need has bestowed the annual Homo Homini award on persons who have greatly contributed to the promotion of human rights and democracy in the world since 1994.

The organisers say Pham is one of the leading personalities of the Vietnamese dissent, who points to the injustice committed by the communist regime in her blog. She also calls on the Vietnamese to stand up against repressions.

“She has been systematically intimidated by the state power, but this does not discourage her. Though she must be in hiding, she does not stop writing. She published her ninth book of late. It deals with democracy and its distribution in Vietnam is strictly prohibited,” People in Need writes.

“It would be better if we were to live in a world where such awards would not have to exist,” says Pham about the Homo Homini award.

“In a world where we would not have to talk about the abuse of human rights, because such things would not happen. This is not the world we live in, though. And that is why I need your international support. Only then can the pressure on the Vietnamese regime become meaningful and bring about a change for the better,” Pham wrote.

The communist party controls the judiciary, legislative and executive powers in Vietnam, which activists label as one of the most corrupt countries in Asia.

Its critics point out that the local authorities suppress the freedom of speech and take regular steps against dissidents. Those who criticise the Vietnamese government on the Internet or elsewhere often end up in prison, according to foreign agencies.

“The situation has worsened in the past year. Last year alone, more than 20 people were arrested for their articles in personal blogs and Facebook statuses. We may speak about a targeted, systematic effort to silence critical voices,” Sylva Horakova, director of the People in Need’s Centre for Human Rights and Democracy, said about the situation in Vietnam.

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