Hanoi, Sep 11 (IANS) The World Economic Forum for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) began on Tuesday here amid the ban of two human rights activists by Vietnamese authorities.
Amnesty International said in a statement that Vietnam refused entry to its senior director of global operations, Minar Pimple, who was to due to speak on diversity and pluralism, reports Efe news.
Amnesty’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo condemned the decision and said it comes at a time where freedom of expression is under a threat in Vietnam.
Naidoo stressed that “the government’s actions undermine an event that depends on a plurality of views” and denounced that “over the past year, the crackdown on freedom of expression in civil society in Vietnam has intensified”.
Pimple’s ban joins the deportation of the International Federation for Human Rights’ secretary general Debbie Stothard, who was detained at Hanoi airport on Monday and refused entry into the country.
Vietnamese authorities accused Stothard of threatening national security for planning to speak on the increasing restrictions facing civil society around the world
The two bans have cast a shadow on the opening of the World Economic Forum, which takes place in Vietnam for the second time has a focus on innovation and employment challenges of the fourth industrial revolution.
The event is attended by more than 1,000 participants from 43 countries, including Asean heads of state and government.