Freedom does not mean freedom of imposition

The website freedomhouse.org recently posted the Freedom in the World 2018 report, which maintained biased views and misleading assessments, despite many countries’ opposition.


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Statistics of the Next Web showed as of July 2017, Vietnam ranked seventh in the world in the number of Facebook users with 64 million



Released on January 16, the report covers 195 countries, designating 88 countries as Free, 58 others as Partly Free, and the remaining 49, including Vietnam, as Not Free.

The report says that Vietnam completely lacks freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of access to information and internet freedom.

However, all the content that Freedom House mentioned is opposite to reality in Vietnam, with the rights to freedoms ensured and protected.

One piece of evidence is that the 2013 Constitution devotes chapter two to the rights and fundamental obligations of citizens, instead of the fifth chapter as it was in the 1992 Constitution.

Lawmakers claimed this was not simply a change in arrangement but also a change in awareness, giving more prominence to the sovereignty of the people and considering the people the supreme subject of state power.

Article 14 of the 2013 Constitution also reads that: “In the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, human rights and citizens' rights in the political, civil, economic, cultural and social fields shall be recognised, respected, protected and guaranteed in accordance with the Constitution and law.”

Article 28 also affirms: “The State shall create the conditions for citizens to participate in the management of the State and society; and shall publicly and transparently receive and respond to the opinions and petitions of citizens.”

The reality is that in Vietnam the people exercise state power by direct and representative democracy through the National Assembly, People’s Councils and other agencies of the State. The election of deputies to the National Assembly and People’s Councils is carried out in the principle of a universal, fair and direct manner and by secret ballot. This was affirmed in the 1946 Constitution and has been ensured better and better through open elections.

In addition, all sessions where Government members answer questions from National Assembly deputies have been broadcast live to viewers both at home and abroad.

On Freedomhouse.com, president of the organisation Michael J. Abramowitz said: “Democracy’s basic tenets include guarantees of free and fair elections, the rights of minorities, freedom of the press, and the rule of law…” If so, which criteria and facts did this organisation use to determine this is not the case in Vietnam?

According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, by mid-2017, Vietnam had had 982 printed newspapers and magazines and 150 online newspapers with licenses. It currently has 182 radio and television channels along with 54 licensed foreign television channels aired on pay television systems. There are 17,297 journalists with press cards.

In Vietnam, all trials are conducted in an open manner, and journalists also have the right to attend and report on trials.

Statistics of the Next Web showed as of July 2017, Vietnam ranked seventh in the world in the number of Facebook users with 64 million, accounting for 3 percent of the total active Facebook accounts worldwide. The number of internet users in Vietnam was 45.5 million, or 48 percent of the population, as of June 2015, ranking 6th in Asia.

Those figures spoke for themselves about the reality in Vietnam.

In Vietnam, there are no so-called “dissidents” since every opinion is expressed freely and respected. However, any activity in any sovereign country must comply with that country’s law. In Vietnam, there is no suppression of “dissidents”; only law violations are brought to trial according to regulations, regardless of who the violators are.

Those who take advantage of freedom and democracy to infringe the freedoms and interests of the state, organisations and other citizens should not be called “dissidents” or “protesters”.

A principle of freedom is to not violate other people’s freedoms. Each country has its own standards and values selected and built by that country’s people, providing that those standards do not run counter to common international regulations and norms.

This means it is impossible to use the right to keep and bear arms in the US to assess the countries which promote arms control as lack of freedom. Using one person’s or one country’s criteria to evaluate others is a brutal violation of freedom.

Freedom House has the right to make its own assessments, provided that those assessments are based on real and scientific evidence and do not run counter to international norms and practices.

If anyone imposes his or her partial or even distorted standards and views on other persons and countries, that is a violation of freedom and worthless.

Freedom does not mean freedom of imposition.-VNA

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