Australian unions have condemned the jailing of union organisers in Vietnam and call for their immediate release.

Three independent unionists all in their twenties – Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung, Doan Huy Chuong and Do Thi Minh Hanh were arrested for organising a strike at the My Phong shoe factory in the Tra Vinh province.  

The trio distributed leaflets calling for better wages and supporting workers’ rights , and were arrested on the basis of ‘disrupting national security’.

The labour activists were held without charge since February 2010 and disallowed communication with family, friends or colleagues.  

Witnesses say that the trio have been mentally and physically abused, and cited one incident in which Do Thi Minh Hanh’s face was beaten upon arrest.  

Last month the trio were sentenced to prison with Doan Huy Chuong and Do Thi Minh Hanh both receiving 7 years, and Nguyen Hoang Quoc Hung who received an even harsher sentence of 9 years.  

Australian unions say the treatment and sentencing of these workers is a violation of human rights, and call for their immediate unconditional release.

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