Brussels, 22nd October 2008
With 479 votes in favour and only 21 against the European parliament adopted the Resolution put forward by the Radical MEPs Marco Cappato and Marco Pannella on the EU-Vietnam relations. In the document approved today, the European parliament asks the European Commission not to sign any agreement before the Vietnamese counterpart complies and respects the following conditions:
- A guarantee to the United Nations of an unfettered access to the entire country, including the central and northern highlands, where the Montagnard people live;
- The release of all of the political prisoners, including 300 Christian Montagnards as well as Khmer Krom Buddhist Monks, Human Rights activists, authors of petitions on land property, cyber-dissidents, trade unions leaders, catholic priests and members of the Hoa Hoa Buddhist church and the Cao Dai religion;
- To quash the house arrest sentence inflicted to Tich Quang Do, Supreme Patriarch of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam, and to the Kmer Krom monk Tim Sakhorn;
- To allow independent religious organisations to freely exercise their activities; to give back the ecclesiastic properties and pagodas which have been confiscated by the Vietnamese government and to restore the juridical status of the Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam;
- To abrogate the Vietnamese legislation dispositions which persecute any dissent and the exercise of certain religious activities.
Cappato and Pannella stated: “With its vote, the Parliament asks the Commission and the Council to respect its own European legality, which stipulates that all commercial agreements be subordinated to the Human Rights clause. The Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty commits to make sure that this vote will be observed. We will also inform the Italian Government about the seriousness of this situation and about the necessity to act immediately by means of official statements and actions”.