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West denounces repression of bloggers, religions in Vietnam

Published on Feb 6, 2014 6:37 AM

GENEVA (REUTERS) - Western countries on Wednesday, Feb 5, 2014, denounced Vietnam's jailing of bloggers and curbs on the Internet and called on its Communist government to respect basic freedoms of worship and expression.

Britain's diplomat Ruth Tumer told the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council that her country regretted "recent trends to control the Internet" and, with diplomats from France and Australia, called for reducing the number of crimes punishable by death and for a moratorium on executions.

"Vietnam still harasses and detains those who exercise universal rights and freedoms, such as freedoms of expression and association," acting US Ambassador Peter Mulrean said in a debate that was part of the 47-member forum's scrutiny of the record of all UN member states every four years.

The United States was also concerned with restrictions placed on religious freedoms and on forming independent trade unions, the use of child labour and the government's use of compulsory labour, he said.

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