Edinburgh law students petition UN over imprisoned Vietnamese bloggers

Print[themify_box style=”blue comment rounded” ]Supported by experienced practitioners, the final year LLB students worked together in the clinic to learn on substantive issues regarding media law and freedom of expression. Their clinic experience led to the filing of petitions to the UN.[/themify_box]

Scottish Legal | Jul 06, 2016

Students at Edinburgh Law School’s Freedom of Expression Law Clinic have submitted a petition to the UN Working Group of Arbitrary Detention, urging the group to support detained Vietnamese bloggers, Nguyễn Hữu Vinh and Ngô Hào.

Supported by experienced practitioners, the final year LLB students worked together in the clinic to learn on substantive issues regarding media law and freedom of expression. Their clinic experience led to the filing of petitions to the UN.

The first detained blogger Nguyễn Hữu Vinh (aka Anh Ba Sàm), published various articles on his blogs about alleged government corruption and other political issues. He has been sentenced to five years in prison, following 22 months in pre-trial detention, after the People’s Court of Hanoi had found that his activities had “infringed upon the interests of the State”.

The second blogger, Ngô Hào, has been often vocal in criticising in Vietnam’s human rights abuses; he received a 15-year prison sentence in 2013. It was stated that his postings on Yahoo Groups were “contrary to the interests of the State”.

The petitions are being officially filed by London-based NGO Media Legal Defence Initiative in the hope that the students’ work can contribute towards the release of these bloggers.

The students participating in the Clinic were: Badia Al-Wer, Daisy Anderson,Julia Bowie, Caitlin Connor,Lois Duncan, Tharusha EdirisingheArachchige, Marco Fugaccia, Jann-Michael Greenburg, Abigail Lloyd,Rebecca Shilliday, Alison Skeoch and Wai Yee Tsang.

The clinic was ably supervised by barrister Smita Shah and advocate Ailsa Carmichael QC.