FIDH report on Vietnam: an update on death penalty statistics
The report reveals that Vietnam continues to have high death penalty statistics. Vietnamese judges hand down death sentences for crimes such as murder, armed robbery, drugs trafficking, rape and economic crimes.
“In 2010, the official legal magazine Phap Luat (Law) reported 11 death sentences for the month of January alone,” the report states. It also stresses that in “January 2004, Vietnam adopted a decree classifying death penalty statistics as “state secrets”.
FIDH and the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights recommend that Vietnam “lift the classification of “state secrets” on capital punishment and make public statistics on the number of death sentences pronounced and executed every year”.
Many of the death sentences were given for drug offences. The International Harm Reduction Association recorded at least 109 such cases between 2007 and 2009. An Amnesty International report states that at least nine people were executed and 59 people were sentenced to death in 2009.
Even though the government intends to keep the death penalty there are positive signs that it is moving away from capital punishment. Vietnam has shown positive action towards the abolition of the death penalty when “in 2009, the government reduced the number of offences punishable by death from 29 to 22”. Vietnam also abstained from the 2007 and 2008 moratorium votes in the UN General Assembly and did not sign the note verbale of disassociation against the resolution.
Vietnam complied with one of the recommendations included in these resolutions by reducing the number of crimes punishable by death. But the resolutions also request countries that maintain the death penalty to provide death penalty statistics to the UN General Assembly.