Madam Speaker, as the member of Parliament for Humber River—Black Creek, a community with a large Vietnamese population, I rise today to bring attention to the detainment of Mr. Chau Van Kham, an Australian citizen and a retiree detained by Vietnamese authorities.
Mr. Chau is a member of the Viet Tan organization, a group recognized by the United Nations as a peaceful group advocating for democratic reform.
In January, Chau was in Saigon conducting research on human rights violations when he was detained. On November 11, 2019, Chau was sentenced to 12 years in prison for what authorities described as “attempts to overthrow the state”.
At 70 years old, many are concerned about Mr Chau's health, which has already declined since his arrest.
As a long-standing advocate for human rights, I want to call attention to the abuses and violations occurring against Mr. Chau Van Kham and denounce the actions of Vietnamese authorities against him, and to further support the Viet Tan organization's request for his immediate release.