Protestors today delivered a statement of concern to the Vietnamese Embassy in Wellington, protesting the detainment and arrest of climate activist Hoang Thi Minh Hong. The activists are urging Vietnam to release Hoang, in addition to other detained activists. They are calling for New Zealand to follow the United States and Germany in issuing a statement of concern.
Protest spokesperson and former colleague of Hoang’s, Aaron Packard, says ‘We’re calling on the NZ Government to speak up and join countries who have already voiced concern, including the USA and Germany, to express our deepest concern at these arrests and call for the release of Hong and her fellow activists. Hong and other climate defenders have provided incredible leadership to pave the way for climate justice. We also urge the release of her fellow climate activists, like Nguyen Trung Ton, Nguyen Bac Truyen, Pham Van Troi, Truong Minh Duc, and Dang Dinh Bach. The UN Human Rights High Commissioner has expressed their deep concern at the chilling effect of both the arrests and intimidation of civil society by the Vietnamese Government’ says Packard.
Investigative journalist Nicky Hager says ‘Citizens of countries around the world care deeply about the climate crisis – but we all rely on a relatively small number of outspoken environmental advocates who research, organise and speak up on behalf of the rest of us. They play a crucial role internationally. Hong Hoang is one of these indispensable people. I urge that the Vietnamese government immediately release Hong, and commits itself to protect her and other environment campaigners in future.’